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[See pages 74 and 499.] 



FROM 1738 TO 1898, 






press of Carpenter & .IRorcbcusc, 




-Boston Transcript, February 23 

Table of Contents, 

Settlement of Pelham. 
North of Ireland Scotchmen learn of America — Memorial to Governor 
Shute of Massachusetts sent by Rev. Mr. Boyd in 17 18 — One Hun- 
dred families sail for Massachusetts and land in Boston August 4, 
17 18 — From Boston to Worcester — Then to Pelham in 1738 — 
Description of Equivalent Lands purchased — North of Ireland 
Scotchmen in 173S, . . . . . . 7 to 13 

Proprietors' Records. 
173S to 1743. 
First meeting of Proprietors held at Worcester February 26, 173S-9 — 
Articles of Agreement for purchase of Land made and indented 
October 20, 1738^-Survey of the tract purchased with plan of 
the same and names of those who drew Home Lots — First meeting 
of Proprietors held on the newly purchased tract first called Lisburn, 
August 6, 1740 — Various meetings of Proprietors previous to the 
Incorporation of the Town 1743— Meetings of Proprietors' organ- 
ization until 1767, . . . . . ■ 13 to 67 

The Communion Token. 
Distributed to Members on Lecture Days— Gathered Again After 

Communion Service, . . . . . . 68 to 74 

Incorporation of the Town of Pelham— Town Meeting Records. 
From 1743 to 1763. 

First Town Meeting held April 19, 1743, at the call of Robert Peibols— 
Full list of Officers Chosen— Voted to Establish Schools in 1744— 
Annual Town Meeting Records — Petition to General Court to Le- 
galize Acts of Town Officers in 1753— Invoices Given in for Taxa- 
tion in 1760— The Town Presented at Court in 1762 for "Volun- 
tarily Omitting and Neglecting to Provide Themselves with a 
Learned and Able Orthodox Minister"— Illegal Killing of Deer in 
1763, and Penalty therefor, . . . . . 74 to 116 

From 1763 to 1776. 
Call of Rev. Richard Crouch Graham to Settle in 1763— Objectors 
Thereto — Warning of Objectionable Families to Leave Town — 
Pewing the Meeting-house in 1766— Allotment of Pews— Disagree- 
ment with the Shutesbury Selectmen About Town Lines in 1769 — 
Town Vendue in 1769— Death of Rev. Mr. Graham in 1771— Rev. 


Andrew Bay Supplies the Pulpit in 1772 — Patriotic Response to 
the Boston Committee of Correspondence, 1773 — Call to Rev. 
Nathaniel Merrill in November, 1774— Letter of a Pelham Man in 
the Army at Charlestown, 1775— Committee of Safety Chosen 1776 
— Handbill from the Court of Independency 1776 . . 116 to 132 

From 1777 to 17S6. 

Valuation of Property for Taxation Established 1777— Rev. Mr. Mer- 
rill's Appeal 1779— Large Increase of Salary 17S0— .Measures 
Taken to Secure Men for the Army 17S1 — Bounties Offered— Action 
Taken to Procure Beef for the Army — Daniel Shays on Committee 
of Safety 1781— Selectmen Refuse to Call a Town Meeting 1782— 
Trying to Settle with the Three and Si.x Months Men 1783- 
Allowance to Soldiers in the Late War 1785 — The Town Votes to 
Have a Bank of Paper Money Made 17S6, . . .132 to 157 

From 17S6 to 1797. 

Petition of certain inhabitants of Belchertown in 17S6— Convention at 
Bruce's Tavern, July 31, 17S6— Mutterings about " Grievances" in 
Town Meeting— Delegates to Convention at Hatfield in August, 
1786— Second Parish Organized 1786— Choice of Delegates to At- 
tend Constitutional Convention, i787^First Justice of the Peace 
Appointed, 1788 — Families Warned to Leave Town in 1790-91 — 
First General Appropriation for the Poor, 1790 — Support of the 
Poor First Sold to Lowest Bidder 1794 — Laying Out Road to the 
Valley, 1795 — Stipulation Concerning the Poor, 1797. 157 to 168 

From 1797 to 1809. 

Tranfer of Pews in the Old Meeting-house, 179S — Permission \'oted to 
build " Horse Shades," 1799 — Sale of Town Lands at Vendue, 1801 
— Opposition to the Building of Turnpike, 1802 — A Town Pound 
Established, 1S04— Robert Lotheridge Sells His Pew in the Old 
Meeting-house — Voted to hold one-third of the Town Meetings in 
the Second Parish, 1805— Attempts to have the Toll-gate Abolish- 
ed, 1806— Samuel and Andrew Hyde Petition to have their Lands 
Set Off to Amherst, 1S07, .... 16S to 176 

From 1809 to 1S15. 

Two Candidates for Representative to the General Court. 1S09— Taxes 
Upon the People, 1809 — The Abercrombie Brothers, Isaac and 
James, Candidates for Representative, 1810 — The 6th Mass. Turn- 
pike Corporation Tries to Discontinue Their Road Through Town, 
i8ro — County Road to Enfield Laid Out, 181 1 — Governor Peti- 
tioned to Restore the Two Military Companies to their Former 
Regiments, 1812— Fear of a Draft for the War of 1S12— Wages of 
Detached Soldiers Raised, 1814 — The Plast Parish asks to be Set 
Off as a Town by Itself, 1815, . . . . . 176 to 183 


From 1S15 to 1S24. 

New Pelham — Order of Notice from the General Court to Show Why 
the Prayer of the Second Parish Should Not be Granted, 1S19 — 
The Town Votes Against Revising the Constitution, 1S20— The 
Last Act of Opposition to Setting Off the Second Parish— The 
Town Rejects All of the Eleven Amendments to the Constitution, 
182 1— The East Parish Succeeds in Getting Set Off from the Old 
Town, 1822 — Large Number Supported by the Town in 1822, — Sale 
of Common Lands and Proceeds go for Repairs on the Meeting 
House. 1S23, . . . . . * . 1S3 to 190 

From 1824 to 1S61. 

Council Called to Dismiss Rev. Winthrop Bailey in 1S25— Great Flood 
of 1S28 Does Damage — Ziba Cook Elected Representative by 
One Majority in 1829 — Stove L^sed in Meeting House for the First 
Time in 1831 — New Town Hall Wanted in 1835 — Money Secured 
from the United States Treasury in 1837 — Wanted to Change the 
Name of the Town in 1840 — Libraries Established in 1842 — Scheme 
for Two Town Halls in 1842 — Old Meeting House Changed for 
Town Hall in 1S44 — Old Meeting House Rented in 1846 — Many 
Candidates for Representative in 1850-51 — Voted to Surrender the 
Charter in 1854-56 — Enrolled Men in 1S61, . , . 190 to 205 

From 1S62 to 1S97. 

Action for the Relief of Soldiers' Families, 1S62— Draft for Men in 1S63 
— Heavy Taxes After the War — Number of Schools Reduced from 
Eight to Four in 1874 — Few Town Meetings Annually After That — 
Blizzard of 1888— Death of Sylvester Jewett, 1S92— History of the 
Old Meeting House, . . . . . . 205 to 223 

Schools— From 1744 to 1897. 

Establishment of Schools in 1744— Scliool Committees— Appropria- 
tions of Schools for Each Year from 1744 to 1S97, . . 223 t0234 

Mills, Maxufacturies. Etc. 

Lands for Mills, 1739— Corn Mill, 1755 — Stinson's Sawmill, 1760— Ham- 
ilton's Sawmill, 1785 — Barlow's Sawmill, 1787 — Town Takes Ac- 
tion, 1791— Mills Built on Home Lot 56, 1803-4— Many Owners of 
Mills in the Hollow— Stephen Fairbank's Carding Machine, 1815 — 
Shoe Peg Business on Pergy Brook— Land for Mill at West Pel- 
ham, 1739— Scythe ^l">op and Foundry— Carding Machine, 1808 — 
Jillson's Mills, 1S20— Various Owners of Mills— Fishing Rod Busi- 
ness, 1858— Montague City Rod Co— Brown's Turning Shop— Char- 
coal— Stone Quarries— Miscellaneous Manufacturing— Innkeepers 
and Retailers— Merchants— Justices of the Peace— Physicians- 
Blacksmiths, . . . . . • 234 to 261 

vi. history of pelham, mass. 

Religious Societies. 

The First Presbyterian Church History gathered from the town and 
parish records, the old church records having been lost or destroyed 
—From the Records of the Second Presbyterian Church and Par- 
ish of Pelham from 1786 to 1822— Confession of Faith— Records 
of Church at Pelham Center from 1822 to 1897— Quakers or Friends 
—Baptists at Packardville— The Methodists, Beginning with the 
Labors of Rev. Isaac Stoddard in 1831— Union Society at Packard- 
ville Organized 1869, . . . . . . 261 to 294 

Rev. Robert Abercrombie and the Church at Pelham. 

His Call to be their Pastor in 1742— Protest Against His Settlement 
in 1743 — Ordained August 30, 1744 — Sermon by Rev. Jonathan Ed- 
wards of Northampton — Home Lot No. i turned over to Mr. Aber- 
crombie as the First Settled Minister— Troubled to Collect His 
Salary in 1746-7 — Charged by the Presbytery with Conduct Con- 
trary to Presbyterian Principles and Rules Governing the Church, 
and Forbidden to Preach at the Church in Pelham — Suppliers 
Appointed by the Presbytery — Final Suspension in 1754— Suit 
against the Town for Arrears of Salary in 1756— Statement of Dif- 
ferences with the Presbytery made by Mr. Abercrombie in Letters 
to a Friend, ....... 294 to 319 

Stephen Burroughs, The Supplier. 

Obtained a Situation as Supplier in Spring of 17S4 — Preached 
Acceptably Four Sundays — Reengaged for Four Months — Read an 
Old Sermon at a Funeral — Given a Text from which to Preach 
with Little Time for Preparation — Proved his Ability to Preach 
Extempore — With One Sunday More to Preach was Found to be 
an Imposter— Fled in the Night— Pursued by the Indignant Peo- 
ple—Fracas at Rutland — Came Back to Pelham in the Night to 
His Friend Lysander— Passed Counterfeit Dollars in Springfield 
and was Imprisoned — The Hay Mow Sermon, . . 320 to 340 

Pelham in the Wars. 
French War— Revolutionary War — War of 1S12— Mexican War — The 
Great Rebellion — A Full Company of Men in the French and In- 
dian War, 1757— Opening of War of Revolution— Ironclad Oath of 
Pelliam Men. — Capt. David Cowden's Company of Minute Men 
April 19, 1775— Old Muster Rolls— Names of Men— The March to 
Cambridge in the War of 1S12— Pelham Men in the Great Rebel- 
lion — Sketches of the Men and the Regiments in which they 
Served, . . . . . . . . 341 to 365 

The Shavs Rebellion of 17S6-S7. 
Capt. Daniel Shays, a Pelham Man — Gathering of Debt Burdened 
Men in Conventions— Lists of Grievances Formulated— Opposition 


to Lawyers in General Court— Opposition to Sittings of the Courts 
—Terms of Court Prevented by Armed Men— Court Houses in Pos- 
session of Armed Insurgents— Gov. Bowdoin Calls Out the Militia 
— Warrants Issued for Arrest of Insurgent Leaders— Gen. B. Lin- 
coln Given Command of Militia — Gen. Shepherd's Detachment 
Guarding the Arsenal at Springfield — Shays Marches to the Attack 
—Repulsed — Several Men Killed— Flight of Capt. Shays and Men to 
Pelham — Gen. Lincoln Pursues— Shays' Men Dispersed at Peters- 
ham, . . . . . . . . 366 to 390 

Captain Daniel Shays. 

Born at Hopkinton — In the War of the Revolution — In Pelham After 
War — A Friend of Landlord Conkey — Met Debt Burdened Men at 
Conkey's Tavern— Drilled them in Use of Arms— Became Rebel 
Leader — Fled from the State— Was Pardoned in 178S— Removed to 
State of New York— Did not Prosper in Business — Drifted to 
Livingston County— Died in 1S24 After Living in Extreme Poverty 
at Sparta, . . . . . . . . 391 to 402 

Settlement of Salem, N. Y., by Pelham People in 1764. 

James Turner and Joshua Conkey First Settlers of Salem — Journeyed 
Through the Forests on Foot in 1761 — Took Up Land.s — Went Back 
to Pelham for the Winter — Made Permanent Settlement in 1764— 
Hamilton McCollister Joined the Pioneers — The Settlement Known 
as New England Colony — Were Men of Character — Had Highest 
Esteem for Religion — First Sermon Preached was in the Cabin of 
James Turner, ...... .403 to 411 

Professional and Business Men, Natives of Pelham. 

The Record a Good One — Have made their Mark as Professional and 
Business Men in Many States — Wells and Edward Southworth, 
Business Men — Daniel, James and Austin W. Thompson, Leading 
Physicians of Northampton — Ira P. Rankin, Business Man and 
Government Officer, San Francisco — Dr. James Dunlap of 
Northampton — Dr. Harvey Willson Harkness, Scientist, San Fran- 
cisco — Judge Ithamar Conkey of Amherst — Col. James N. Smith, 
Railroad Builder, Brooklyn — Nathaniel Gray, San Francisco — 
Rev. Aldin Grout, Missionary — William Smith Otis, Inventor, Etc. 
— Dr. Israel H. Taylor of Amherst, .... 412 to 446 

John Savage and John Stinson. 

Prominent Citizens of Pelham in the Middle of the iSth Century, but 

not Natives of the Town, ..... 446 to 449 

Concerning the Women of Pelham. 

Reputation for Industry — They Introduced the "Little Wheel"' for 
Spinning Flax— They Taught Its Use — They Spun and Wove Linen 


— Also Wool, and made the Cloth into Garments— Made Domestic 
Braid from Rye Straw — Braided or Platted Palm Leaf into Hats 
—Wove Palm Leaf into Webs for Shaker Hoods — Marriages — 
Published Intentions of Marriage— Births— Form of Death Record, 
Etc., ........ 450 to 469 

Mount Lincoln". 

Description of the Mountain — Many Towns Seen from its Summit — 
Beacon Fires During the Revolution — Station for Geodetic Survey 
— Heighth Above Tide Water — Uncle Reuben Allen, 470 to 472 

Old Burial Places. 

A Sketch of each of the Eleven Burial Places of Pelham — The Old 
Burial Ground at the Center — The West Burying Ground — The 
Quaker Burying Ground — The Arnold Burying Ground — The John- 
son Family Burial Place — The Smith Private Burial Ground — Bur- 
ial Ground near George Knight's — Packardville Burying Ground — 
The \'alley Cemetery— The West Pelham Burying Ground — The 
Cemetery on the Prescott side of the East Hollow, . . 473 t0 4Si 

Taverns and Landlords. 

The Tavern of Thomas Dick — The Old Conkey Tavern — Dr. Hind's 
Tavern on Pelham East Hill — Kingman's Tavern on the West 
Hill— Cook's Tavern— The Orient House — Hotel Pelham, 4S2 to 4S7 

Old Advertisements, Etc. 

Strav Cattle and Horses — Taken in Damage and Otherwise — Clear 
Description of Animals — '"Marks for Creaturs"". Posting of War- 
rants lor Town Meetings. .... 4SS to 490 

Stories — Pleasant and Otherwise. 

De Rex vs. Hyde — Rev. Robert Al^ercrombie and the Church Commit- 
tee — Rev. Dr. Parsons of Amherst and the People of Pelham — 
Farmer Harkness and the Traveler — Crimes — Prince Dwelly Loses 
His Life — Charles Stetson Shot April 11, iSSi — Marion Mont- 
gomery Kills His Son December 26. 1SS2, . . . 491 to 49S 

Sketch of Henry Pelham— 1696-1754. 
From Memoirs of Henry Pelham, by William Coxe, \'ol. 2. 301-304, 

499 to 501 
Representatives to the General Court — 502-503. 
Town Officers. 

Moderators of Annual Town Meetings — Town Clerks— Town Treas- 
urers — Town Selectmen — 1763 to 189S Inclusive. . . 503 to 508 

List of Illustrations. 

Lord Pelham, Facing Title Page. 
Pelham Center from the North, 7 
Plan of Town of Pelham, with 

Home Lots, 25 

Second Plan of the Town, 

Three Divisions of Land, 30 
Capt. Thos. Dick's Gravestone, 51 
Upper Reservoir, Apple Trees 

in bloom. May, 1S98, 51 

The Token, 6S 

Town iMeeting, March, 1S97, 77 

Capt. Benjamin Page's House, 

Rankin Farm, 98 

Abijah Fales" Farm House, 98 

L. W. Allen's Sawmill, 116 

S. F. Arnold's Residence, 116 

The Rocking Stone, 132 

House on Joel Grout Farm, 

Owned b_v Henry Cook, 132 
Stephen Rhodes' Residence, 157 
C. P. Hanson's Residence, 157 

The Jewett, or Harkness House, 

in Winter, 176 

J. R. Anderson's House, in 

Winter, 176 

To the Cider Mill, 205 

On the Sandy Road to Amherst 

Market, 205 

Sylvester Jewett, 217 

The Communion .Service of the 

Scotch Presbvter'n Church. 217 
The Old Pulpit of the Old 

Meeting House, 217 

The Old Meeting House, 217 

William Gilmore's Invoice for 

Taxation. 1760, 221 

First Town Meeting Warrant, 222 
Residence of Mrs. A. Morgan, 223 
The " City ''School House, 223 

The Valley School House, 229 

The Valley Bridge, 229 

Dam and Bridge, West Branch, 236 
Up the Valley of the West 

Branch, from the Cemetery, 236 
Dam at Fishing Rod Factory, 

West Pelham, 242 

Montague City Fishing Rod 

Company's Factory, 242 

Residence of David Shores, 245 

Charcoal Kilns, near Pulpit 

Hill, Pelham Hollow, 245 

M. E. Boynton's Residence, 254 
Tombstone of Edward and 

Elizebeth Selfridge, 254 

Pelham Center from the South, 282 
Daisies Among the Graves, Old 

Burying Ground, 282 

Union Church. Packardville, 288 
M. E. Church, West Pelham, 2S8 
Autograph Manuscript by 

James Conkey, 1746-7, ' 301 
The Protest, 302 

The Grave of Adam Johnson, 302 
Receipt or Discharge Given 

by Rev. R. Abercrombie, 312 
Stephen Burroughs, 322 

View in West Pelham, near the 

Fishing Rod Factory, 341 

Falls on Pergy Brook, Pelham 

Hollow, 365 

Amherst as seen from Pelham 

Before 1S50, 365 

Home of Capt. Shays in Pelham 391 
Abial Robinson Farm House, 391 
Facsimile of Capt. Shays' 

Handwriting, 393 

LTp the East Hill, (Prescott) 399 
Wells Southworth. 412 

Edward Southworth, 414 

Ira P. Rankin, 417 

Dr. James Dunlap, 418 

Dr. Harvey Willson Harkness, 421 
Judge Ithamar Conkey, 425 

Birth Place of Judge Ithamar 

Conkey, 425 

Col. James N. Smith, 428 

Nathaniel Gray, 430 

Rev. Aldin Grout. 432 

The Buffum Brook, 432 

Otis Patent Steam Excavator, 436 
Thomas Buffum, 440 

Dr. E. Ward Cooke, 444 

Uncle Eseck Cook Farm House, 444 
Mrs. Betsey Otis Smith. 461 

Tower on Mount Lincoln, 470 

Boiling Cider, 470 

View from the Enfield Road 

Toward Pelham Center, 471 


The Reuben Allen Place, 
The East School House, 
Samuel Davis' Residence, 
The Old Graveyard, Center, 
J. W. Keith's Residence, 
Tomb in Smith Private Ceme 

tery, 477 

The Arba Randall Farm House 477 
The Old Conkey Tavern Sign, 482 
The Old Conkey Tavern, 4S2 


Ziba Cook's Tavern, 4S4 

Waterfall on Dunlap Brook, 484 
Orient House, West Pelham, 486 
Hotel Pelham, 486 

View from West Bury 'g Ground, 498 
View of Prescottfrom the North, 498 
High Water in the West Branch, 
1897, — Vanstone's Mill and 
Bridge, 507 

Stone Bridge, Dunlap Brook, 507 


Page 17 — Fifth line from the bottom Abraham Should be Adam. 
" 76— Sixth line from bottom read 1742 in place of 1752. 
" 265 — Fifth line from top read Andrew for William. 


After earnest and repeated solicitation on the part of friends, who 
set forth the desirability and the urgent need of the work being done, 
the task of preparing a history of the Town of Pelham has been 
commenced and it is expected that the work will be carried forward 
and up to January i, 1896 — 158 years from the first settlement of 
the town. 

It will be evident to all who give the subject a little thought, that 
the history of this town must be largely a transcript of the existing 
records. All that can be made known to the public must be drawn 
from that source. The earnest, zealous, strong-minded Scotch Pres- 
byterian settlers finished their labors long years ago. We cannot 
appeal to them for facts, — their record of events is all we have. 

These records consist of town and parish record books mostly. 
The old Presbyterian church records have disappeared within the 
past twenty years, and thus one very interesting source of informa- 
tion concerning the social, religious and family life of these people is. 
beyond our reach. 

In the records accessible, we have little or nothing respecting the 
social or family life of the people. The records of Marriage Inten- 
tions, Marriages, Births and Deaths contain all that there is con- 
cerning the wives and daughters. No record of their work appears. 
We know they spun wool and flax, they wove the stout cloth for their 
husband's and son's wear, as well as for themselves. They knitted 
the yarn, they sewed the cloth into garments — but there is no hint or 
intimation in the records of their having any part in the social or 
business life of the settlement. 

Exciting events required action by the town ; but the record of 
such action fails to convey to us anything of the active stirring 
interest which the events themselves developed among the people. 
We cannot hear the animated discussion and debate, which we know 
occurred often, and was long-continued and sharp, as we read the 
dull record of their decisions. 

The plan thus far pursued has been to give every town meeting 
record a careful reading, and to copy whatever might be of interest 
to anyone interested in the history of the town. In many instances. 

the complete record of town meetings, including the warrants under 
which they were held, have been copied entire and will be so printed. 

Names of town officers are given — not every year, and every 
officer, but for many years the full roster of officers, down to tything- 
mcn and "Hog Constables", are given. l"he purpose being to get as 
many names of inhabitants in print as possible. 

The action of town meetings upon all matters of peculiar or extra- 
ordinary interest will be given in full, especially action of the town 
during the stirring times of the Revolutionary war. The names of 
all who served in that struggle, and all those that were drawn into 
rebellion against the state government, under ('apt. Daniel Shays, 
will be given, so far as they are obtainable. 

Shays Rebellion will be given ample space, and the entire corres- 
pondence between Gen. Lincoln, in command of the state militia at 
Hadley, and Capt. Daniel Shays and other insurgent leaders while 
they with their iioo followers were occupying East and \\'est hills in 
Pelham in the bleak winter of 1787, will be included. 

Th€ Stephen burroughs episode will not be omitted, nor will any 
other event of interest or importance of which there are accessible 

The entire contents of the book containing the Records of the 
Lisburn "Propriety", excepting the descriptions of the 183 lots of land 
into which the tract was divided in the three divisions, have been 
copied, and a reproduction of the plans of the surveys of William 
Voung in 1739, which he submitted, and were made a part of the 
record, have been prepared for the work. A line drawing of the old 
Meeting House, where for 153 consecutive years the people of the 
town have gathered for town meetings, has been prepared in a plate 
for printing in the book ; also a half-tone plate of the old C'onkey 
Tavern in the Hollow, which was burned in 1883. 

The above is a brief outline of the work proposed, and the prepar- 
ation will continue, but no further printing will be done until some 
•expression of the demand for the completed work is obtained, in 
•order to decide how many volumes may be disposed of. The 
responses received from people who may desire such a history as 
may be gathered from the materials available will determine how 
many volumes shall be printed or whether any completed ones 
shall issue. c. o. f. 

February J, i8g6. 

The First Settlers of the Town of Pelham. 

The people who settled in Pelham in 1738-9 were of Scotch origin, 
as many of the sturdy names would indicate if it was not definitely 
known that they were such. They came to this country from Ireland 
and were commonly called Scotch-Irish, though nothing was more 
otTensive than the term Irish as applied to them, and the onlv reason 
why it was ever attached to them came from the fact that these 
people and their ancestors had lived in the North of Ireland for 
many years. They were Scotchmen living in Ireland, and as they 
hailed from that island on their arrival here, it was natural that while 
their real nationality was quite apparent, their coming from the Green 
Isle caused the use of the double name to express their nationality. 

The history of these Scotch people in Ireland, and the reason of 
their being there, may properly be given here briefly. 

During the reign of James I. his Catholic subjects in the north of 
Ireland rebelled, and upon the suppression of the rebellion two 
million acres of land, comprising nearly all of six northern counties, 
came into possession of King James as sole owner. 

His Scotch and English subjects were offered liberal inducements 
in the way of grants of land, and in other formal ways, to leave their 
own country and homes and settle upon these vacated lands in the 
north of Ireland, from which the Catholic Irish had been expelled. 

Believing that good homes could in this way be secured, large 
numbers of Scotchmen of strong Presbyterian faith settled upon these 
lands as early as 161 2. In the reign of Charles II. there were 
further accessions to their numbers, but it was in thci latter part of the 
century, during the reign of \\'illiam and Marw that by far the larger 
number migrated. 

In their new homes they were allowed to worship according to 
their own faith and forms of worship, but were obliged to contribute 
one-tenth of their income in support of the clergy of the established 
church. They also became aware of the fact that they were only 
tenants of the crown, and could never own the lands they cultivated 
in fee. 


I'he natural enmity between their Catholic-Irish neighbors in 
adjoining counties, and these sturdy Scotch Presbyterians was of 
such a nature that it did not render their condition one to be desired, 
or to be long endured, and they began to cast about for relief. 

'lliey had heard of America, and had learned something about it 
from one who had been there and returned to them, and they desired 
to know more. In the year 1718, they sent Rev. Mr. Boyd to Mas- 
sachusetts to present an address to Governor Shute, in which their 
desire to settle in New England was expressed. The address borne 
by Rev. Mr. Boyd was signed by more than two hundred men. nine 
of them being ministers of the gospel, besides three other graduates 
of the University of Scotland, and among the signatures are found 
the names of John Gray, William Johnson, James Gilniore and James 
Alexander, who were among the first settlers of this town, in 1739. 
Also the names of Alexander Dunlop, M. A., Thomas Dunlop, and 
Andrew Dunlop, doubtless ancestors or relatives of James Dunlap, 
who was in Pelham as early as 1743, and probably earlier. 

The following is a copy of the Memorial, as printed in Parker's 
History of Londonderry. N. H. 


To His Excellency the Kiglit Honoral)le Collonel Samuel Siiitte Covernor 
of New England. 

We whose names are Underwritten, inhabitants of ye North of Ireland, 
Doe in our own names, and in the names of many others of our Neighbors, 
Gentlemen, Ministers, Farmers and Tradesmen, Commissionate and appoint 
our trusty and well l^eloved friend, the Reverend Mr. William Boyd of 
Macasky, to His Excellency the Right Hororable Collonel Samuel Suitte 
Governor of New England, and to assure His PLxcellency of our sincere and 
hearty inclinations to transport ourselves to that very excellent and renowned 
Plantation upon our obtaining from his Excellency suitable encouragement. 
.And further to act and Doe in our Names as his Prudence shall direct. 

Given under our hands this 26th day of March, Annog. Dom 17 18. 
The favorable report brought back to Ireland by Mr. Boyd caused 
the larger part of those who had signed the above Address to Gov. 
Shute to convert their property into money, and as many as one 
hundred families embarked for Boston in five ships, where they 
arrived in safety, .August 4, 1718. They were the descendants of 
Scotchmen who went from Argyleshire in Scotland, in 1612. and 
settled upon the lands in I'lster county, Ireland, from which the 
rebellious Catholic subjects of King James had been removed 
because of their rebellious action. 


It is said that a goodly portion of these people remained in Boston 
and with other Scotch people already there, organized the first Pres- 
byterian church, and Rev. John Moorhead was pastor. Some went 
to Andover. Sixteen famiHes left in a body, and finally settled at 
Nutfield — now Londonderry, N. H. Others of them, and probably 
some of the first settlers of Pelham, went from Boston to Worcester, 
and settled, but the colony dispersed later, some, as we have said, 
being in the colony that purchased the tract of 16,662 1-2 acres 
included in the towns of Pelham and Prescott. of Col. John Stoddard 
of Northampton. 

Others of those who landed in P)Oston went west and settled in the 
state of New York. Some families settled in Spencer, some in 
Stowe, some in Hopkinton, a few passed over into Connecticut. 
There were fresh arrivals in the years following 1718, and with the 
pioneer families were among the settlers of Palmer and Colraine. in 
this state, as well as Pelham, and probably other towns. 

Just when the negotiations began for the purchase of the tract of 
land on which these Scotch Presbyterians settled does not appear, 
but the closing of the bargain is shown in the Articles of Agreement. 


The lands purchased of Col. John Stoddard of Northampton were 
a portion of a large tract known as the Equivalent lands, which is 
now included for the most part in the towns of Belchertown, Ware, 
Pelham. a portion of Prescott and a portion of Enfield. Prescott 
was a part of Pelham up to 1822, and the part set oft' from Pelham 
was equivalent land, but territory not of the equivalent lands has 
been added on the north. 

The designation *' Equivalent lands" was adopted and applied at 
the time the state of Massachusetts made a grant of the tract above- 
mentioned to the state of Connecticut as an equivalent for the towns 
of Woodstock, Somers, Enfield and Suffield in the last named state, 
which, through some blunder or error in surveying, were supposed 
to be within the boundaries of the state of Massachusetts for many 
years, .\fter it became certain that the south line of Massachusetts 
was not far enough south to include these four towns within its limits 
and that the towns were in the state of Connecticut, the state of 
Massachusetts instead of acknowledging the error and giving up 


control over these towns, still claimed and exercised jurisdiction over 
them. As an offset to this absurd claim, and instead of giving up 
the claim, ihe state of Massachusetts offered to give the state of 
("onnccticut a tract of wild land equal in extent to that of the four 
towns named, as an equivalent. After sixty-five years of controversy 
107,793 acres were granted and accepted by the state of Connecticut 
in full satisfaction of the absurd claim. 'I'he state of Connecticut 
held the legal title to the tract of equivalent lands, but it was always 
under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts. 

.As early as 1716 Connecticut began selling the Equivalent Lands, 
and the whole tract brought but £(>^t,, or about one farthing per 
acre. A company formed in Hoston. of which Hon. Jonathan IJelcher, 
a former governor of the state, was a mem])er, purchased a large 
portion of the tract. Men in Northampton also purchased, Rev. 
Jonathan Edwards being an owner of equivalent lands at one time. 
All the money from the sales went into the funds of Yale College. 

Probably there were no land syndicates in those early days of the 
modern pattern, booming settlements on these wild lands, but the 
price per acre (one farthing) which Connecticut realized for her 
Equivalent T>ands. and the price paid Col. Stoddard, per acre, l)y the 
North of Ireland Scotchmen (2 1-3 pound new tenor) indicates that 
there were thrifty land speculat(jrs in those days, looking for cus- 
tomers upon whom they could unload at an advance. After a time 
the people living in the four Connecticut towns threw off the control 
Massachusetts had exercised, preferring the jurisdiction of the state 
they resided in to that of Massachusetts. 

The negotiations of Robert Peibols, blacksmith, and James 
Thornton, yoeman. and both of Worcester, was for a tract of land 
about three and one-half miles wide and seven and three-quarters 
miles in length, — the several range lines running due east and 
west, and contained 16,662 1-2 acres. Its west line was the east line 
of Hadley (now Amherst). The tract consists mainly of two high 
ridges of land running north and south across the tract and the 
Great Hollow lying between. In this hollow, with its abrupt 
sides, the west branch of Swift river runs south, and combining 
with the east branch beUnv Enfield, forms a sizable stream for 
manufacturing purposes. 

l''ro!!i the east line of Amherst to the top of Pelham West Hill it 
is a little more than six miles, and in that distance there is a rise of 


about nine hundred feet. The old meeting house is not quite 1200 
feet above tide water, but Mount Lincohi and another elevation a 
little south of the center is quite 1200 feet above tide, while Amherst 
center is l)ut 300 feet above tide le\el. Kroni the West Hill east to 
the Hollow, the descent is abrupt and continues for about two miles. 
When the West Branch is crossed; then for about two miles, the up 
grade is sharper if anything than the descent from the west. When 
the summit of East Hill is reached, straight west over the Hollow 
and at about the same level, is the West Hill in full view. The 
descent to the east from the East Hill begins at once and ends on 
the plains of Greenwich, through which flows the waters that make 
the east branch of Swift river. These two- ridges are by no means 
smooth and rounded, but are broken into ravines along either slope, 
down which How the sparkling rivulets on their way to the lower 
ground. On the westward side of the West Hill is a deep depression, 
known as the Valley, which leads out towards Amherst. 

Judge Ithamar Conkey, in his centennial address at Pel ham, Jan- 
uary 15, 1843, ^poke of this tract as follows: 

'•This town and the adjacent territory, previous to their being 
settled, were distinguished as being excellent hunting grounds — they 
abounded with deer and other valuable game, and much damage was 
undoubtedly done to the lands by those persons who resorted here 
for that purpose. It was a practice among the hunters, in those 
days, to set a line of fires, encircling a large plot of ground, which, 
burning in every direction, would gradually encompass the game in 
a narrow circle and so it would become an easy prey to its pursuers. 
Thus in process of time the native forests, which were extensive and 
valuable, and which covered the lands with a dense foliage Avere 
nearly destroyed, and much of the vegetable substance which usually 
collects in a forest were consumed, thereby rendering the lands less 
productive and much less valuable. 

This practice was continued many years, and the tires were known 
to burn in some parts of the territory, especially in the low marshy 
places, for several months together. But the lands which had been 
thus burned over were soon covered with a species of wild grass- 
growing rapidly and luxuriantly — thus giving it the appearance of an 
extensive rolling prairie, and affording very excellent pasturage for 
cattle. P'or many years great numbers of cattle and horses were sent 
out from the towns on the Connecticut river to graze on these hills 


during the summer season, and to make the pasturage sweeter and 
facilitate its growth, the practice of burning over the lands was con- 
tinued a considerable time after the first settlement of the place, and 
in fact until the inhabitants of the town chose a committee to prose- 
cute the offenders and thus save their lands from further destruction." 

Of the wisdom of the settlers in selecting this tract, Judge Conkey 
says: "Could we be transported back to those days and view this 
land as it was thus situated, see the natural make and construction 
of the soil, — the beautiful streams of water which How through it, 
the granite formations and the easy and natural facilities for improve- 
ment, when compared with some of the adjoining territories, we 
should be convinced of the wisdom and good judgment manifested 
in the selection. No spot of ground east of Hadley and west of the 
then existing settlements in Worcester county could be found more 
favorable to successful agricultural improvement." 

The condition of the soil, at the time of the purchase, despite the 
frequent burnings was doubtless more fertile than at present, a fact 
that applies to most hill-town tracts, and the east hill was better 
than the west for agricultural purposes, not being as stony and 
rough as the west hill. Rye, oats, corn and other grains were raised, 
as well as tiax. The forest growth is remarkable in regard to quick- 
ness with which newly cleared land will clothe itself again, and this 
fact has been the reason why the people for the last fifty years have 
been able to furnish lumber, railroad ties, and wood to neighboring 
towns, in large quantities; in fact, relying upon this method, and the 
furnishing of stone for building purposes, for income rather than 
upon the raising of agriculturnl crops for the market. Potatoes of 
the finest quality are produced, and have always been considered 
better than those raised along the Connecticut Valley.* 

From the common on the west hill near the old meeting house 
there is a fine view of the Connecticut valley, and to the north-west 
Greylock, the highest land in the state can be seen, and also the 

* The potato is said to have been raised in Pelham as early as 1740, or ten years before 
the people of Amherst and Northampton raised them. The potato was regarded as a 
curiosity rather than for use as food at that time, and was coarse giained and rank in taste. 
It is said Josiah Pierce of Hadley raised eight bushels in 1763, to the great wonder and aston- 
ishment of his neighbors who wondered what he could do with them. The potato was 
regarded by some as a sort of forbidden fruit, and a hill or two was planted in gardens as a 
curiosity. It is said that Rev. Jonathan Hubbard of .Sheffield came near being handled by 
the church for raising twenty bushels in one year, it being thought a matter of sufficient 
importance for the church to take action upon as a moral question. 

Green Mountains of southern Vermont. Almost due east, Wachuset, 
the next highest mountain in the state, is visible, and looking north- 
eastward, across the hill-top village of New Salem, Monadnock looms 
up across the state line in New Hampshire. The air upon these two 
hilltops is pure and healthful, and the Great Hollow between is not 
swampy or malarious, the soil being light and sandy and more easily 
cultivated than in portions more rough and stony along the slopes. 

Book No 

This Book belongs To the 

Proprietors of ye Northerly Half of 

a Tract of Equivalent land Lying on ye 

East of Hadley &ct 

& is Libo A John Chandler Jun 

Proprietors Clerk 
Lisburn So Called. 


John Chandler Jun Esq being; chosen clerk of the Proprietors of a tract of 
land lying in the county of Hampshire East of and adjoining to Hadley 
which James Thornton Robert Peibols and others purchased of John Stod- 
dard Esq was sworn to a faithful discharge of his office the day and year 
above said by me 

William Jenlson 

Justice of tlie I'eace 
Entered from Original by 

John Chandler Jun 

Proprietors Clerk. 

Articles of Agreement Indented and made ye twentyeth day of October 
seventeen hundred and thirty eight Between Robert Peibols of Worcester in 
the county of Worcester and Province of Massachusetts Bay in New Eng- 
land, Blacksmith, on the one part and James Thornton of Worcester afore- 
said yeoman on the other part witnesseth, That Whereas on the 26 day of 
September last past the said Robert Peibols and James Thornton have 
Jointly covenanted and contracted with Honorable John Stoddard of North 
Hampton in ye County of Hampshire Esq for one fourth part of that tract 
of Equivolent Lands Lying Easterly of Hadley ( Except eight hundred 
acres) which he bought of the Executors of Dame Mary Saltonstall Late of 
Boston D'sd which land was Laid out by Matthew Allen Roger Wolcott and 
Ebenezer Pomroy Esqr for Twenty nine Thousand Eight hundred iJv: seventy 


four Acres, And also for one Eighth part of said Tract of Land whicli said 
John Stoddard purchased of Capt Roswell Sallonstall of Hrandford in the 
county of New fiaven and also for an Eighth part more of said tract of land 
which fell to or belonged to said Stoddard by Division, making tlu- whole 
ye one Half of said Tract of Land Excepting L2ight hundred part of ye 
fourth part which ye said Stoddard Purchased of the I'^xcculors of Dame 
Mary Saltonstall as aforesaid. 

And Whereas they have covenanted to pay foi" the Same as follows \'iz : 
Fifteen hundred pounds within Twelve months from the 26th day of Sep- 
tember as Aforesaid & Three Thousand pounds more in Eighteen .Months 
from said Date, and both sums to sd Stoddard, and Also the Sum of Nine 
hundred pounds to Josiah Willard of Boston Esq and the other Executors 
of Said Dame Mary Saltonstall aforesaid Deceased on or before 'the 30th 
day of June 1739, and the further sum of Nine hundred Pounds more to said 
Executors on or before the Thirtieth Day of June 1740 Together with Law- 
ful Interest from the 30th day of June last Past and also the sum of Five 
hundred to ye Aforesaid Roswell Saltonstall at or before the Seventh Day 
of September next Ensuing, and the Further sum of F"ive Hundred pounds 
on or before ye Seventh day of September which will be in the Year of our 
Lord 1740, Together with Lawful Interest Therefor from the Seventh of 
September last Past, All said sums of Money amounting unto the Sum of 
Seven Thousand and three hundred pounds and are to be paid in Bills of 
Credit of ye Old Tenor & for which the said Robert Peibols and James 
Thornton are within six months from the Said Twenty sixth day of Septem- 
ber last to procure and Deliver him said Stoddard Good and Sufficient 
Bonds Executed by Persons of Sufficient I'^state & such persons whose 
Bonds shall be to said Stoddards Acceptance of a certain Instrument of that 
well Iilxecuted and called an Indenture under the Hands and Seals of said 
John Stoddard Robert Peibols and James Thornton will fully and at large 
appear Reference thereto being had. 

And Whereas the Said Robert Peibols & James Thornton being fully 
determined to Bring forward the Settlement of Said Lands by Settling fourty 
Families thereon in the Space of three years from Date hereof Viz Each of 
them Twenty familys. And in order to proceed therein with the more 
despatch as well as the l)etter to enable them Raise the money for which 
they are Joyntly to pay for the Purchase as aforesaid and for the building 
and Erecting a Meeting House for the Pul)lick Worship of God and Settling 
a Minister and laying out of suitable and convenient Highways and for 
Making all needful Bridges causways and Roads in said Settlement they do 
by these Presents P^ach one for Himself and for his Heirs executors and 
Administrators Absolutely covenant and engage to ye other in ye Way and 
Manner following. That is to say. Imprimis, the said Robert Peibols for 
Himself and for his Heirs executors and adms engages to present proper 
security in the time and Manner Aforesaid to said Stoddards Acceptance 
for the one half of all ye aforesaid sums of Money. And the said James 
Thornton for himself and for his heirs I'^xecutors and .Administrators 

engaged to procure proper Security in ye time and Manner aforesaid to Said 
Stoddards Acceptance for one half of all the aforesaid sums of Money. 

Secondly— That they will forthwith or with as Much speed as conveniently 
they can, have said land Measured and Bounded and then proceed to lay 
out Sixty one Lots of One Hundred Acres Each so as best to Accommodate 
them for Settlements, in the doing of which they will lav out Needful and 
convenient Roads and ways all which Lotts shall draw an equal proportion 
in all after Divisions till the whole of said Land shall be laid out. 

Thirdly, that one of said Lots shall Immediately be Sequestered and -Sett 
Apart for ye settled Ordained Minister in said Plantations with all future 
drafts and the Same is hereby Ratified to him his heirs and assigns forever, 
and to be laid as convendable as the same may be and they Oblige tliem- 
selves to Ratify and Coniirm ye same to ye Person who shall be first settled 
and Ordained as Aforesaid for the Incouragement of those persons they 
shall admit as Partners or Settlers with them. 

Fourthly, that as soon as ye said Ministers Lot shall be sett off that then 
the said Robert Peibols shall have the Liberty of Choosing Two lots In that 
he sees cause without Draft and when lie has so done then the said James 
Thornton shall have Liberty to choose two lots as he sees cause without 
Draft. That the remaining lots shall be numbered and drawn for by said 
Partys or those they shall admit as partners or Settlers with them — so tliat 
each party shall have with those who held under them Thirty Lots. 

Fifthly, That the charges arising in said l-'lantation by the surveying and 
bounding of ye whole of said tract and Laying out the lots as aforesaid and 
the After Divisions, all needful ways and Roads and Making Bridges and 
Causways and tlie settling of a Minister and building and finishing a 
Meeting House and all unforeseen Charges for ye proposing and com- 
pleating what is aforementioned shall be borne by the Persons owning the 
said Lotts Viz— One Lott to pay one si.xtieth part and so proportionately 
for what each party shall own. 

Sixthly, The said Robert Peibols engages for himself and for his heirs 
executors and Administratsrs To have with himself Twenty familysof Ciood 
Conversation Settled on the Premises who shall be such as were Inhabitants 
of the Kingdom of Ireland or their Decendants being Protestants and none 
be admitted but such as luring good and undeniable Credentials or certifi- 
cates of their being Persons of good conversation and of the Presbyterian 
Persuasion as used in the Church of Scotland and Conform to the Discipline 
thereof unless they shall otherwise agree hereafter, said families to be 
actually settled on the premises in three years from the date hereof Each 
to have a House of at least liighteen feet Square and Seven feet studd well 
Inclosed and made Habitable and upon one of said hundred Acre lots, and 
have three acres part thereof improved by Plowing and Mowing and the 
said James Thornton engages for himself for his heirs executors and adms 
to have with himself Twenty families settled on the Premises in the time 
and way and Manner and in all regards as discribed as aforesaid nothing 
excepted or Rejected and who shall each one perform as to lalioring and 

l6 Krs■|•()K^■ OK HKLHAM, MASS. 

'Improving as aforesaici \'i/. as is to he clone on the part of said Robert 

Seventlily, Tiiat each parly liave liberty in his own name and right to 
•dispose of his share and Interest in the premises as he sees cause to Inable 
him fully to comply with what they respectively have engaged to do as 
herein already stated. 

Eightly— That in the first and all future Divisions all Persons who shall 
be admitted as Partners or Settlers shall iiave a vote in propartion to his 
Right in all Meetings Hereafter to be called unless Debarred by some 
Previous contract. 

Ninthly — They Each one engage for themselves and all tiiose who shall 
hold under them that none of them shall take any cattle to Feed in ye woods 
in ye bounds and Limits of the aforesaid Settlement in the Sumor season 
but what are their own property unless ye settlers hereafter shall agree to ye 
same and, Finally, that they will with convenient speed procure a Legal! 
Meeting of ye Proprietors of said Lands as soon as they have heard of all or 
part of their settlers, and in the proprietors book entered the foregoing 
articles of Agreement as ye foundation of their Settlement and future 
Intending. Hereby Covenanting for themselves and for their several and 
Representative Heirs executors administrators and assigns that they will 
proceed agreeable to what is above written on the Forfeiture of Five fiun- 
dred pounds Ijy him who shall Fail to be paid to the other besides Treble 

In Witness whereof tlie Party to thees Presents liave hereunto affixed 
their Hands and Seals the day and year aforesaid. 

It is agreed Notwithstanding aforemention that Peibols shall choose one 
of his two Lots then Thornton one, Then Peibols his Second Then Thornton 
his Second. 

Robert Peibols (Seal) 
James Thornton (Seal) 
Signed Sealed and Delivered 
in presence of us 

Mathkw (Ikav I in 
John Chanldi.r Jun 

WoRt i:stek ss— Worcester (J( tober 26, 1738 
Robert Peibols and James Thornton The Subscril)ers personally appearing 
and respectively Acknowledged the foregoing Instrument containing Seven 
Pages to be their act and deed before Me 

John Chandler Jln Im-I'a 
Entered from the Original by 

John Chandlicr Jun Clerk. 

deed KROM col. STODDARD. 

To all people to whom these presents shall come. (Greeting 

Know ye that John Stoddard of North-Hampton in ye County of Hamp- 
shire in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New ICngland, for and in 


Consideration of the Sum of Seven Thousand three Hundred Pounds in bills- 
of Public Credit of ye Old Tenor in hand already Received of the Persons 
hereafter named the Receipt whereof he doth hereby Aci<nowledge and 
himself thereby fully satisfied and contented, hath given granted, bargained 
and sold. And by these presents doth fully freely Clearly and Absolutely 
Give grant, Bargain sell Release convey and confirm unto them their heirs 
and Assigns forever one half (excepting Eight Hundred acres) of that tract, 
of equivolent land Lying and being in ye County of Hampshire bounded 
Westerly on Hadley, Southwardly on another Tract of Equivolent land 
Commonly called Cold Spring Township. Eastwardly on land called Ouabbin 
North on land now called Wells Town, Which Tract of land was laid out by 
Mathew Allen, Roger Woolcott, and Ebenezer Pomroy Esq" for Twenty 
nine Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy four acres, A More particular 
Discription of which land does appear by Abar (Cohun) entered in ye Secre- 
taries ofiice in Boston, which half part (Excepting Eight Hundred acres as 
aforesaid) by a Division lately Made by the owners or proprietors of said 
Equivolent Land is laid seperatly and contained in ye first lott and does con- 
tain ye whole of said lott (excepting thirty eight acres two Roods and thirty 
three perches which belongs to Mr. Elisha Williams (Doct) of Yale College,, 
which lott Lyeth on the north part of said Equivolent Land and from said 
line Extends South one Thousand and Eleven Rods and Eleven feet to 
Monuments Raised at Each End and does Extend from Hadley bounds on 
the west to the East Bounds of said Equivolent land, A more particular 
description of which lot may be seen in ye Deed of Partition bearing date 
ye .seventh day of September 1738, which said half (excepting as aforesaid)^ 
the said John Stoddard doth hereby sell and confirm as aforesaid, to the 
following persons and in ye following proportion (viz) To Roljert Peibols- 
five sixtieth parts; To Patrick Peibols one sixtieth part; To Robert Loth- 
eridge two sixtieth parts, to William Gray Jun one sixtieth part. To John 
McConkey, one sixtieth part. To Alexander McConkey one sixtieth part. To 
Alexander Turner one sixtieth part, to John Stinson one sixtieth part, to 
James Hood one sixtieth part. To Adam Johnson two sixtieth parts, To 
Ephraim Cowan one sixtieth part. To George Cowan one sixtieth part, To- 
Samuel Gray two sixtieth parts. To John Gray Jun three sixtieth parts, To 
Thomas Dick one sixtieth part. To John Dick one sixtieth part, To John 
Alexander one sixtieth part. To James Allexander one sixtieth part, To' 
James McAllach one sixtieth part. To Samuel Thomas one sixtieth part. To 
James Taylor two sixtieth parts, (AH the above named persons are of Wor- 
cester In the County of Worcester, except (George Cowan who is of Concord 
in the County of Middlesex) To John Fergerson of Grafton one sixtieth 
part. To James Gilmore of Boston two sixtieth parts, To Abraham Patterson 
of Liecester in ye County of Worcester one sixtieth part. To Thomas Low- 
den of Leicester one sixtieth part. To John Chandler of Worcester one 
sixtieth part, To John Johnson of Shrewsbury one sixtieth part. To Adam 
Clark of Worcester one sixtieth part. To James Thornton of Worcester 
fourteen sixtieth parts. 


'I'o have and to hold the aforesaid half part of equivolent land (except the 
Eight Hundred acres as before excepted) and in that part thereof above 
described with ye Appurtenances and Priviliges thereto belonging, To them 
the above named persons, their heirs and assigns forever according to their 
several and Respective proportions as before expressed, to their several and 
Respective proper use benefit and behoof forevermore, and the said John 
Stoddard for himself his heirs etc. Doth covenant and engage to and with 
the before named persons their Respective heirs and assigns, that before 
and until the ensealing thereof as ye true sole and lawful owner of the 
premises and stood seized thereof in his own right in Fee simple and had in 
himself good Right and full power and Lawful authority to Grant bargain 
sell aliene Release convey and confirm the same as aforesaid and that free 
and Clear and Clearly executed acquitted and discharged of and from all 
leans and other Gifts grants Jjargains Sale Lease, Mortgage, Wills, entails, 
Joyntures, Thirds, Executions and Incumbrances whatsoever, and the said 
John Stoddard doth hereby further Conenant and engage the before granted 
premises with ye Appurtenances to them the before named perrons and 
■other Respective heirs and Assigns forever: to warrant secure and defend 
against the Lawful Claims and demands of any and every person and persons 
whatsoever. In Witness wliereof he hath hereunto set his hand and seal 
this twenty first day of January in the twelfth year of the Reign of our 
Sovereign Lord (ieorge of Great Lritain as King Annogy Dom 1738-9 John 
Stoddard and a seal signed sealed and Delivered in presence of ye witness 
Klisha .Marsh. Cor-nel Waldo 


John Stoddard Esqr Subscrii^er to the foregoing Instrument personally 
•Appearing freely Acknowledged the same to be his act and Deed 

Before me William Jkxiso.x Justice of Peace. 
Hamivsiiirk ss Sfkixgfieli) Fe]'. 3d i73S-() 
Received and Recorded in ye Records of Deeds for the County of Hamp- 
shire Lib" 1. Folio 220 &ct 

I'r Wm 1'\.N( hox Ju\ Redr 
Entered from the Original. Deed 

Pr JoHX Chaxuler Proprietors Clerk 

■ Vi'i'LicAi ION FOR THE FiRsr MKKriNc;. Feb. 2, 1738-9. 

To the Honorable John Stoddard Esq one of His Majestys Justices of the 
Peace for the County of Hampshire. Ss. We the Subscribers Proprietors 
■of the Northerly half of that Tract of ICquivaknt Land ( Excepting Eight 
Hundred Acres) Lying and being in the County of Hampshire bounded 
Westerly on Hadley, Southerly on another Tract of Equivalent Land com- 
monly called Cold Spring Township, Easterly on Land called Quabbin, 
North on Land now called Wells Town, Humbly apply to you Hour & 
Pray you will please to (irant a Warrant directed to some one of us, 
Requiring ye person to whom the same is directed pursuant to law to warn 
-and notih all the Proprietors of said Tract of land to A.ssemble and meet 



together on Monda\^ the 26th day of Fel)'ry Currant by Ten of the Clock in 
the forenoon at the present Dwelling House of Capt Daniell Heywood in 
Worcester. Then and there to transact the following i^articulars 

I. To Choose a Moderator for said Meeting. 

II. To Choose a Clerk for said Proprietee. 

III. To Agree upon a Suitable Method for bringing on a Speedy Settle- 
ment of said Lands, and in order thereto— ist to Choose a committee and 
surveyor to take an exact survey of the whole tract of Land, and to see it 
well bounded out, & 2dly to lay out Sixty one home lotts so as best to 
Accommodate a Settlement. 

3dly To lay out suitable Roods & ways 
4th To (".rant a lot or Riglit to tlie tirst settled Minister. 
5th To Draw Lotts according to Lacii ones Interest. 

6tli To Agree upon Proper Methods for laying out all aforesaid Divisions. 
7th To Raise Money for defraying all Charges proper to be born by ye 
I'roprietors Iieitherto and also for Defraying the Charges tliat may arise for 
the future \'iz for building a Meeting House Settling a Minister, Making 
Bridges Causways and Roads and for defraying any Unforeseen Charges 
that may arise in perfecting and Compleating the settlement of the place. 

I\' To Agree how Meetings shall be called for the future and to Pass 
orders for the Managing Improving Dividing or Disposing of said lands, 
and finally to do any other thing Conducive to the good of the community 
Herein you will greatly Oblige Sr Your Honors Humlile Servants 
Worcester February 2: 1S38-9 

Ro]3ERT Baki;ek 
Robert Lotheridge 
John Dick 
Patrick Peibles 
John Chandler Jux 
Jame.s Thornton 
Robert Peibles 
W^illiam John.son 
John Stinson 
Samuel (jRay. 

wakrani- for mektini; ok froprikior.s. 


[l. s.] To Patrick Peibles of Worcester In the Councy of Worcester 

& one of tlie foregoing Subscribers Greeting. 

Pursuant to the foregoing Application you ai-e hereijy Required In His 
Majestys name to Warn aud Notifi (Agreeable to the Direction of the law 
in tliat Case Made and Provided) the Proprietors of the Tract of Land 
within mentioned to Assemble & Meet at the Time & place within men- 
tioned. Then and there To Transact on ail or Such of ye Particulars in 
Said Application Named as they shall see cause, Hereof you are not To 
Fail And make due and timely Return hereof and of your doings herein, 


Given under my hand and seal at North Hampton this Second day of 
February in ye 12th year of the Majestys Reighn Anno Dom*^ 1738-9 

John Stoddard. 
Worcester Feb 2d 1738-9. 
By Virtue of the within warrant I have notified ye Within Proprietors to 
meet at the time and place within Mentioned to Transact on the within 
Affairs, by Posting up a Notification in the Town of Hadley on which the 
land adjoins And one in the town of Worcester where the Proprietors 
Mostly Dwell. Attest Partrick Peibles 

I-'ntered from tlie Original Application & Warrant. 

Pr John Chandler Jun Proprietors Clerk 

notification to the proprietors. 

Pursuant to a Warrant to me Directed by the Honorable John Stoddard 
Esq, One of His Majestys Justices of the Peace for the County of Hampshire 

The Proprietors of the Northerly half of that Tract of Equivalent Land 
(Excepting Eight Hundred Acres) Lying and being in the County of Hamp- 
shire, bounded Westerly on Hadley, Southerly on Another Tract of Equiva- 
lent Land Commonly Called Cold Spring Township, Easterly, on land called 
Quabbin, North on land now called Wells Town, are hereby notified to 
Assemble and meet together on Monday the 26th day of February Currant 
by Ten of the Clock in the forenoon, at the Present Dwelling House of 
Capt Daniel Haywood in Worcester, Then and there to Transact on the 
following particulars, Viz 

I To Choose a Moderator for said Meeting. 

II To Choose a Clerk for said Proprietee. 

III To Agree upon suitable Methods for bringing on a speedy settlement 
of said lands. And in order thereto 

First, to Choose a Committee and Surveyors to take an exact survey of 
the whole Tract and see it well bounded out & 

Secondly to lay out Sixty one Home Lotts so as best to accommodate a 

Thirdly, To lay out suitable Roads and Ways. 

Fourthly, To Grant a Lot or Right for the first Settled minister. 

Fifthly, To draw Lotts according to Each ones Interest. 

Sixthly, To Agree upon proper Methods for laying out all after Divisions 

Seventhly, To Raise Money for defraying all the Charges proper to be 
born by the Proprietors hitherto; and also for building a Meeting House, 
Settling a Minister, Making Bridges Causeways & Roads and for defraying 
any Unforeseen Charges that may arise in perfecting and Compleating the 
Settlement of the Place. 

IV To Agree how Meetings shall be called for the future, and to Pass 
orders for the Managing, Improving, Dividing or Disposing of said Lands, 
and finally to do any other thing Condusive to the good of the Community. 

Given under my hand and this second Day of February Anno Dom 173S-9 

Entered from the ()riginal 

Pr John Chandi.kk Jin Proprietors Clerk 

the first settlers. 2 1 

First Meeting of the Proprietors, Feb. 26, 1738-9. 

Att a meeting of the Proprietors of the Northerly half of that Tract 
of Equivalent Land (excepting Eight hundred Acres) Lying and 
being in the County of Hampshire, bounded westerly on Hadley, 
Southerly on another tract of Equivalent Land commonly called Cold 
Spring Township, Easterly on land called Quabbin, North on land 
now called Wells Town, Regularly assembled and Mett Together at 
the Dwelling House of Capt Daniel Heywood in Worcester on Mon- 
day the twenty sixth day of February at 10 a clock in ye forenoon, 
At which meeting the following Votes Passed Vizt 
John Chandler Jun Esq was chosen Moderator by a Unanimous Vote. 
John Chandler Jun Esq was chosen Clerk by a unanimous vote and 
sworn to the faithful discharge of his office by William Jenison 
Esq in the meeting before ye proprietors. 
Voted That the Clerk be desired to purchase a book at the charge 
of the proprietors and that he first enter in the Same the Grand 
Agreement made and Executed Between James Thornton & Robert 
Peibles Oct 20th 1738 which is now voted as the foundation of the 
Settlement and Direction in future proceedings they having just 
purchased the premises of the Honorable John Stoddard Esq and 
Took the Rest of the Proprietors in as partners on the thirty first 
day of January last and many of them in Consequence of obliga- 
tions or Agreements made in writing on aforesaid thirty first day 
of January, and that the Grand Deed or Instrument be so Recorded 
and then the Application to said Stoddard for this present Proprie- 
tors Meeting &ct with the warrant & Warning and then the pro- 
ceedings of this and all other future meetings. Said Records to 
be done at the charge of the Propriety, — Ordered that Messrs. 
Andrew McFarland Robert Lotheridge & Samuel Gray be a Com- 
mittee with the Assistance of a Surveyer all on oath to take an 
exact Survey of the whole Tract of land and bound the same out 
well, and then to lay the same out into six Equal Ranges, The 
Range lines to Run East and West and between Each Range to 
leave two perch wide for a highway except between the Center 
Range where they are to leave four perch wide for a highway 
That then they do in the Center of the whole Tract or as near as 
they in their Judgments Shall think proper lay out Ten Acres for a 
Meeting House Place burying place and Training field from which. 


a highway four perch wide shall be left North and South from the 
North and South of the whole Tract, and that then the Committee 
proceed to lay out Sixty one Home Lots, the Standard to be One 
Hundred acres and that they proportion the lotts for Quality so as 
to make them as Equal as may be. That they Lay out one of said 
Lotts for the first Minister as nigh the Meeting House as ye land 
will Admit off. — And that then they proceed to lay out ye Sixty 
Lotts, in ye doing of which they are to lay out the best of ye lands, 
and that such land as is not suitable for the Homelotts as afore- 
said to Lye for after Divisions. And in Case a number of lotts 
Exceeding three are laid out adjoining in one Range that they 
leave land for a highway between so that between every three lotts 
at least There be a highway of two perch wide. 

Voted that the Committee take Such Pilotts with them as they Shall 
Judge Necessary at the Charge of the Proprietors. 

Voted that there be an exact Plan of the whole Tract Made and the 
Sundry Range lines laid down thereon to be Numbered as follows. 
The Range on the South Side to be called the First Range, and 
so to proceed Northward to the sixth Range on the North side, 
And that the land laid out for ye Meeting House &ct be Duly laid 
down on the Plan as also Each & every of ye Sixty one Lotts. 
That the Range lines & lotts be very well bounded and Marks 
therein made so thick as to be at anytime Easily found. 

Voted that the Comette have nine Shillings per Diem Allowed them 
for their Service and Subsistance. And they were sworn in the 
Meeting to the faithful Discharge of their Trust by John Chand- 
ler Jun Esq. 

Voted that William Young be the Surveyor, who was Sworn in the 
Meeting to the faithful Discharge of his office and that he have 
fourteen Shillings pr Diem for his service and Subsistance, and he 
is hereby Directed to keep an exact Journal of the whole affair and 
to return a fair Plott of his whole proceedings in all regards as 
Aforesaid, And in case of his being Indisposed or otherwise not 
attending the Service that then the Comittee and Clerk choose 
some other suitable person to perform the same. 

Voted, that James Allexander be an assistant to said Comittee and 
have the same wages (vizt) Nine Shillings Pr Diem he finding 



Voted, that before the lotts are drawn Vizt, the fifty six Lotts, (after 
Robert Peibles and James Thornton have chosen their two lotts 
Each which they may do at anytime when laid out and ye Min- 
isters Lott) be all of them numbered on the Plott, Vizt, from six 
to Sixty one and the Ministers Lott to be number One, And their 
four Lotts Number Two, Three, four, five, — And that after they 
are drawn a Return be wrote of every mans Lott with ye Point of 
Compass and length of line and the Corner bounds to be entered 
at large in ye Proprietors Book And the Original to be delivered 
to the owner of the Lott, Said ye Return to be signed by ye 
Coniittee & Surveyor or Otherwise as the Proprietors shall order. 

Voted that the fifth sixth & seventh particulars under the third Gen- 
eral head or Article be Referred to the adjournment of this 
Meeting — then to further Consider on. 

And then the Meeting was by a vote of the Proprietors adjourned to 
this place on the first day of May next at Ten of the Clock in the 

Attest John Chandler Jun Moderator 
The Aforesaid Votes were passed 

Attest John Chandler Jun Proprietors Clerk 

Second Meeting of the Proprietors, May i, 1739. 

At a meeting of the proprietors aforesaid held by Adjournment 
from February 26, 1738-9 to May i 1739 at Ten a Clock in the fore- 
noon and then met at the Dwelling House of Capt Daniel Heywood 
in Worcester. The Comittee appointed for Surveying the lands 
belonging to the Proprietors and for laying out Sixty one homelotts 
made Report, and by the Surveyor William Young laid before the 
proprietors a Plan of the whole Tract and Also of said home lotts — • 
Said Lotts being numbered from one to Sixty one, which was 
approved off & ordered to be recorded, and whereas they are but 
twenty five of said lotts fully compleated it was Voted that the 
Remainder be done at the charge of the Society. It was also Voted 
that whoever draws the Thirty Second, fifty fourth, & Sixty first Lott 
or any of them, may have Liberty to Drop fifty acres oft" either lott at 
one end or side in a regular figure & have the same laid out in any 
of ye Undivided lands at the charge of the Society. And it was also 
Voted that Said lands be for ye future called ye Lisburn Propriety. 



Voted the Lotts No 7 & No S which now contain One Hundred 
and Eleven acres have added to each of them at the West end of 
said lotts Ten Acres, ye whole width of Said Lotts. Voted that Lot 
No I with the After Divisions befor the first Settled Minister, That 
No 2 & No 3 be two of Robert Peibles Lotts and No 4 and No 5 be 
two of James Thorntons Lotts, And then the Proprietors proceeded 
to draw their Lotts and Here follows a List of the names of the 
Proprietors and the lotts they drew &ct. 


Names of 
Ministers Lett 
Robert Peibols 
Robert Peibols 
James Thornton 
James Thornton 

No. of 

No. of] 


Names of 
James Thornton 
Adam Patterson 
3lJames Gilmore 23 

4|Adani Clark 24 

5 John Chandler Jr Esq 25 
(The foregoing Lotts [John Alexander 26 

were without Draft) 'John Johnson 27 

John Uick 
Patrick Peibols 
John Gray 
John Gray 
John McConkey 
William Gray Jr 
James Thornton 
James Thornton 
James Thornton 
Thomas Dick 
Robert Peibols 
James Gilmore 
Mathew Gray 
James Thornton 
George Cowen 

6|James McAUah 28, 

7 Robert Lotheridge 29 
SJJohn Chandler Jn Esq 30 
9J James McConkey 31 

101 William Johnson 32 

II I James Taylor 

i2iAdam Johnson 

13 James Hood 

14 William Thornton 

15 Samuel Thomas 

16 James Thornton 

17 Andrew McF^arland 

18 James Breakenridge 

19 Mathew Thornton 
20,Ephraim Cowen 

Names of 

Samuel Gray 
Robert Barber 
Robert Barber & { 
William Jonhson ( 
Alexander Turner 
John Gray 
John Stinson 
James Alexander 
John Fergerson 
James Thornton 
Adam Johnson 
James Thornton 
James Thornton 

No. of 







34 Alexander McConkey 55 

35 ' ~ ■ 

James Taylor 
Robert Lotheridge 
Thomas Lowden 
Samuel Gray 
Andrew McFarland } 
& Mathew Gray i 
Robert Peibols 















/lf.\ (> 











? ; 




18 \'7 



1 ...:■ 

















z" ^^ 









"; ^7 





; --^r 


': us 




I » 




^ 1 07S- f 





The Comittee laid before ye proprietors an Account of the charge 
of Surveying the whole Tract and of Sixty one Home Lotts, and is 
as follows Vizt 

£ s p 
Andrew McFarland 22 Days a 9s 8 — 18 — o 

Robert Lotheridge 22 Days a 9s 9 — 18 — o 

Samuel Gray 22 Days a 9s 9 — 18 — o 

William Young 22 Days a 14s 15 — 8 — o 

James Allexander 23 Days a 9s 10 — 7 — o 

To Andrew McFarland for Pilotts &ct 2 — 11 — 6 

58— 0—6 

Voted that the above sums as in enntry — Unto the sum of Fifty 
Eight Pound & six pence be allowed and paid to the above persons 
by the Treasurer. 

Voted that the sum of three pound be paid Patrick Peibles for a 
Journey to North Hampton &c by the Treasurer. 

Voted that thirty Shillings be allowed & paid to Captain Daniel 
Heywood for the expenses at his house this meeting by the Treasurer. 

Voted that the sum of fifteen pound be allowed and paid towards 
the Making a Road to the Meeting House and from thence into 
East Hadley so called Vizt a Bridle Road, and John Gray and 
James Allexander are appointed a Comittee To see ye same located 
in the most Suitable place for Publick Advantage and According to 
their best Discretion. 

Voted that the Remainder of the Lands be all Laid out in two 
Divisions, one to be called a Second Division and ye other the Final 
Division, and that the Standard for the Second Division be Fourty 
Acres, and that the Lotts be laid out Quantity for Quality, taking 
the best of the land, and that the lotts be numbered from one to 
Sixty one and drawn for as the home lotts were. And that the 
Remainder be laid out into Sixty one Equal parts and numbered and 
drawn as the Second Division, and that the lotts in both Divisions 
be well bounded out and a fair plan returned both of the home lotts 
Second Division & Final Division, and a Return Made and Signed 
by ye Comittee & Surveyor of both Divisions in one Return to be 
Recorded in the Proprietors Book & the Original Delivered to the 
Respective owners of Said Lotts, — 

Voted that Robert Peibles Ephraim Cowan and John Stinson be 



the Comittee with ye Assistance of William Young the Surveyor to 
Accomplish said work by ye Last day of October next, and that the 
Comittee have nine Shillings each pr Day & the Surveyor fifteen 
Shillings pr day they finding themselves and to be on oath, — and 
they were all sworn to the faithful Discharge of their Trust in the 
Meeting by John Chandler Jun Esq. 

Voted That William Thornton be an Assistant to said Committee, 
and he have nine shillings pr Day he finding himself. 

Voted, That William Young ye Surveyor doe with ye Assistance 
of William Thornton and John Dick perfect ye Surveying of the 
Home Lotts and that it be done as soon as May be, that said Young 
have fourteen shillings pr day and said Thornton & Dick each nine 
shillings pr Day for said Service, finding themselves, and they were 
sworn by John Chandler Jun Esq 

Voted that the Clerk Draw all needful Copys for the Comittees and 
Surveyors Instruction. 

■ Voted, That a Tax Assessment of Three Pounds a Right, amounting 
to the Sum of One Hundred and Eighty pounds be assessed For 
Defraying the charge that have and may arise in performing the said 
service and for such other things as the Society shall order & appoint 
& that the money may be collected by the first day of November 
next and paid into ye hands of the Treasurer. 

Voted That William Gray Jun Andrew McFarland and John 
Chandler Jun Esq be a Comittee «& Assessors for ye Propriety — The 
said William Gray Jun & Andrew McFarland were sworn to the 
faithful Discharge of their Trust in ye meeting by John Chandler 
Jun Esq. 

Voted that Robert Barber be the Collector of the Propriet}^ — and 
he was sworn to 5^e faithful discharge of his Trust in ye Meeting by 
John Chandler Jun Esq. 

Voted that John Chandler Jun Esq be Treasurer to the Propriety, 
— and he was sworn faithfully to Discharge the Respective Dutys of 
an Assessor and Treasurer by William Jenison Esq. 

Voted That the Assessors do forthwith make said Assessment of 
three pounds on each Right and that the same be collected by ye 
time Aforementioned. 

And then the Meeting was by vote of the Proprietors adjourned as 
also ye Affairs in ye Warrant not yet acted on To this place on the 


First Day of November next at Ten of the clock in the forenoon. 
Attest John Chandler Jun Moderator. 

All the foregoing votes were passed. 

Attest John Chandler Jun Proprietors Clerk. 

Third Meeting of Proprietors, November i, 1739. 

Att a meeting of the Proprietors Held by Adjournment from May 
I, 1739 to November i, 1739 At Ten of the Clock in ye forenoon 
and then Mett at the House of Capt Daniel Heywood in Worcester. 

The meeting not being full the Matters to be Transacted not being 
fully prepared, It was Voted that the Expenses being fourty Shillings 
be paid by the Treasurer, and then The Meeting was by a vote of 
the Proprietors adjourned as also the Affairs in ye Warrant not yet 
acted on To this place on Monday the fifth Instant at Ten a Clock 
in the forenoon. 

Attest John Chandler Jun Clerk Proprietors. 

Fourth Meeting of the Proprietors, November 5, 1739. 

Att a Meeting of the Proprietors Aforesaid Held by adjournment 
from the First Instant to this 5th day of November 1739 at Ten a 
Clock in ye forenoon and then Mett at the House of Capt Daniel 
Heywood in Worcester. 

An account of the Charge for Completing the Division being laid 
before ye proprietors for allowance and approving the following sums 
due to the following Persons Vizt 

To William Young Surveyor 13 Days at 14s £() 2 s 5d 
To William Thornton 13 days at 9s 5 ^7 o 

To John Dick 13 days at 9s 5 17 o 

^20 16 o 

Voted that the above sums amounting Unto the Sum of Twenty 
pounds sixteen shillings be Allowed and paid to the above persons 
by the Treasurer. Pursuant to a vote of the Proprietors of ye first of 
May last William Johnson who drew the Thirty Second Home lot on 
first Division Dropt fifty acres thereof at ye Southeasterly corner and 
to take the same at the Northwesterly corner of the Home lott 
Number Twenty in the Forth Range & is called No 32. 


James Thornton by his assignee, Hugh Gray Dropt fifty Acres on 
the Easterly end of the Home Lott Number fifty four and Took it in 
the fifth Range between No 53 & 46 & 47 and is called No 54. 

Also Robert Peibles Dropt fifty Acres on the southerly side of the 
Home lott num sixty one and took it in the fourth Range between 
No 15 & 58 & is Called No 61. 

A Plan of the Second and Third Divisions including the first 
Division was presented and allowed by the Proprietors and ordered 
to be Recorded or added to the Book of Records. 

Rahqe 6 

/ /?A/t 



Voted that the Surveyor with ye late Comittee Vizt Ephraim 
Cowan forthwith or as soon as may be Compleat the Third Division 
at ye charge of ye Proprietors. 

Voted that whoever Draws the Second Division No 40 May have 
Third Division No 4, second Division No 41 3d Division 56, 2d Divi- 
sion No 56, 3d Division 6, — 2d Division 17, — 30! Division 44. 

Here follows the List of the tirst Division as formerly Drawed with 
the numbers of the Second and Third Division as drawn by the 

I St 



Persons names. 




Ministers Lott 




Robert Peibles 




Robert Peibles 




James Thornton 




James Thornton 




John Dick 




Patrick Peibles 




Johii Gray 




John Gray 




John McConkey 




William Gray 




James Thornton 




James Thornton 




James Thojnton 




Thomas Dick 




Robert Peibles 




James Gilmore 




Mathew Gray 




James Thornton 




George Cowan 




James Thornton 




Adam Patterson 




James Gilmore 




Adam Clark 




John Chandler 




John Alexander 




John Johnson 




James McAllah 




Robert Lotheridge 



.ohn Chandler 




. ames McConkey 




Persons named. Di\ 

William Johnson 32 

James Taylor 33 

Adam Johnson 34 

James Hood 35 

William Thornton 36 

Samuel Thomas 37 

James Thornton ;^S 
Andrew McFarland 39 

James Brakenridge 40 

Mathew Thornton 41 

Ephraim Cowan 42 

Samuel Gray 43 

Robert Barber 44 
Robert Barber } 

and Wm Johnson j ^5 

Alexander Turner 46 

John Gray 47 

John Stinson 48 

James Alexander 49 

John Fergerson 50 

James Thornton 51 

Adam Johnson 52 

James Thornton 53 

James Thornton 54 

AUex McConkey 55 

James Taylor 56 

Robert Lotheridge 57 

Thomas Lowden 58 

Samuel Gray 59 

Allex'r McFarland | g 
and Mathew Gray i 

Robert Peibles 61 













Memorandum — here follows an 
Above Lotts Vizt, Such as have 

Acct of ye Owners of some of 
purchased since ye Home lotts 










first Division was Drawn, And the Second & third Divisions Are laid 
out to said persons and the Return so made Vizt 

I St 





William Crossett 

Home Lott 




Andrew Mclain 

do - 




James Gilmore 

do " 




John Peibles 

do " 




John Clark 

do " 




William Gray Jun 

do " 




Mathew Gray 

do " 




Robert McClain 

do " 




Hugh Gray 

do " 





15s is , 



9s is 

15 — 15— 


9s is 

II — 5 — 


9 is 

17 — 2 — 


9 is 

17 — 2 — 


9s is 

2— 5—0 

The Second & Third Divisions to said Persons Accordingly.— 
The Committee for surveying the Second and Third Divisions laid 

before the Proprietors An Acct of ye Charges Thereof and it is as 

follows Vizt 

To William Young for Thirty eight 
To Robert Peibles 35 days 

To Ephriam Cowan 25 days 

To John Stinson 38 days 

To William Thornton 38 days 

To William Young for Drawing the Returns 
3 days 


Voted that the above sums amounting unto the sum of Ninety one 
Pound Nineteen shillings be allowed and paid to the Above persons 
by the Treasurer. 

Whereas at the Meeting held on the first day of May Last (1739) 
there was a sum of fifteen pounds allowed for and towards making 
a Road in Said property as pr ye votes appear and it now appearing 
that instead of said sum there has been expended on said affair More 
Labour than was at first Judged Needful. Wherefore Voted that the 
following Sums be granted to the following persons for said work and 
what the same shall Amount to more than said sum of fifteen pounds 
shall be paid out of ye Taxes Assessed or that may be hereafter 
assessed on the Propriety Vizt 


To James Allexander 

7 Days 



To John Johnson 

6 Days 



To William Thornton 

6 Days 



To James Gilmore 

6 Days 



To Allexander McAllah 

6 Days 

2 — 14- 


To William McConkey 

6 Days 



To Robert McKee 

3 Days 

I— 7- 


To John Gray 

3 1-2 Days 

I — II- 


To Ephraim Cowan 

1 Day 



To James Brakenridge 

2 Days 



To Robert Peibles 

I Day 



To James Hood 

I 1-2 Days 



To James McConkey 

4 1-2 Days 

2 — 0- 



The further sum now granted being Nine Pounds one shilling & 
six pence Ordered the whole to be paid by the Treasurer. 

(The above sum of ^24 — i — 6 was for building the bridle path to 
the Meeting house and into East Hadley, or Amherst which they 
voted to do May i, 1739.) 

Voted that a tax or assessment of twenty-five Shillings A Right, 
Amounting unto the sum of Seventy pounds be granted for further 
defraying ye charges that have or may arise on ye proprietors to be 
Surveyed by ye comittee or assessors already chosen, or they or part 
of them and to be collected and paid unto ye proprietors Treasurer 
at before ye fifteenth day of April next, To be by him paid to defray 
ye Charges already (or which may hereafter be) Allowed of by the 
Proprietie, And the Meeting with the Articles not acted upon was 
adjourned by a vote of the propriety to meet at this place on Tuesday 
the fifteenth day of April next at Ten of the Clock in the forenoon. 

Attest John Chandler Clerk Proprietors 
The aforesaid votes passed. 

Attest John Chandler Clerk Proprietors 

Fifth Meeting of the Proprietors, Held by Adjournment 
FROM November 5 1739 to April 15 1740. 

Att a Meeting of the Proprietors aforesaid, held by Adjournment 
from November 5th 1739 To April 15 1740 at Ten a Clock in the 



forenoon and then Mett at the House of Capt Daniel Heywood in 

An Acc't of the Charges for compleating ye Second and Third 
Divisions yet being laid before the Proprietors for Allowance. 

Voted — That the sum of Eighteen pounds be allowed to William 
Young Surveyor, for 24 days service as aforesaid and drawing the 
Return & Seven shillings for paper ye whole being Eighteen pounds 
7 shillings, And Also ye sum of five pound Seventeen Shillings to 
Ephraini Cowen assisting therein &ct being 13 days. 

18— 7—0 
5 — 17—0 

£^z— 4—0 

The above sums amounting to twenty three Pounds four Shillings, 
Allowed and Ordered to be paid by the Treasurer. 

Voted, that James Thornton Robert Peibles James McAllah — 
Mathew Gray & John Gray a Comittee Impowered by the Proprietors 
to Request of the Clerk of said Proprietie a Warrant for Calling of a 
new Meeting as they shall see cause. — The Meeting to be held in 
the Lisborne propriety. The warrant to Express time and place of 
Meeting and what is to be Transacted therein — Notifications to be 
put up in some Publick place in said Proprietie & also in ye Town of 
Worcester the time by law Required before said Meeting. 

Voted, that as often as five or more of ye proprietors shall Judge 
there is a newsesity from time to time of said Proprietors. The 
Clerk for the time being upon Application to him Made by said 
persons in writing under their hands settmg forth what they Appre- 
hend newssary to be Transacted shall give a warrent for the same, 
which warrant shall (till ye proprietors Otherwise Order) be Posted 
up in some Publick place in said Proprietie and also in the Town of 
Worcester at Least fourteen days before the time of the Meeting. 

Voted That James Thornton and William Gray and Andrew Mc- 
Farland be a Comittee fully Impowered To Settle Accounts with the 
present Treasurer John Chandler Esq for ye Taxes already Granted, 
allowing his own acct out of the same which amounts To the sum 
of Twenty Eight Pounds Eighteen shillings with a Reasonable allow- 
ance for his service as Treasurer, and that they give him proper 
discharge and Report as soon as may be to the proprietors & what 
they do to be obligatory on ye Proprietors. 


Voted, that this Meeting be Disolved And it was accordingly so 
declared by ye Moderator. 

Attest John Chandler Proprietors Clerk. 
The Aforegoing Votes were passed by the Proprietors & Entered 
by my own hand. 

Attest John Chandler Proprietors Clerk. 

Here follows the Returns of ye Home lotts &: Second & final or 
Third Division. These consist of a description and bounds of each 
of the sixty-one home lotts and also of the sixty-one lots in the 
Second Division and the sixty-one in the third division. The full 
description of all these lots would be monotonous reading, that few 
would care to wade through, and so we give only a few full copies of 
these descriptions, but enough to show how the record was made. 
With three divisions of land, each drawn by lot and each series 
numbered from one to sixty-one must have led to much confusion. 
It was only by the sheerest luck that a man drew his three parcels 
of land and had them adjoining each other. Oftener the three 
parcels were several miles apart, and consequently comparatively 
valueless for cultivation for the party who drew them. Doubtless 
there were exchanges made, whereby a parcel drawn by one farmer, 
but far from his home lot on which he lived, could exchange for a 
parcel near by, but drawn by a farmer several miles away, to their 
mutual advantage. 

Home Lot No. i, or the lot set apart for the first settled minister, 
and the one that Rev. Robert Acercrombie had, with Second Divi- 
sion No. 56 and Third Division No. 6, will serve to illustrate the 
inconvenience of getting land by lot, or drawing for it as in a lottery. 

"No. I — Ministers Lott — Is a home Lott Laid out to the first 
Settled Minister in the Lisburn Propriety, Viz, Lays in the fourth 
Range & Lays Quantity for Quality Containing one Hundred Acres, 
it Lys In two parts, ye first Lays adjoining the Meeting House Lott, 
it Bounds Northerly & Southerly on ye Range Lines. Westerly on 
home Lott No 50 partly and partly on the Meeting House Lott & 
Easterly on home Lott No 10 partly and partly on home Lott No 11. 
The Southwest Corner is a stake and stones hence N : 40 perch to a 
state and stones thence west 20 perch to a stake & stones. Runs 
from thence N. 143 perch to a stake and from thence East 87 perch 


& four tenths of a Perch to a stake and stones, thence S. 183 perch to 
a stake & stones, from thence to ye Corner first mentioned, Contains 
Ninety five acres ; ye Second is bounded Southerly by home Lott No 
56, W. by home Lott No 55 N & E by — third Division No 24 the 
Southwest Corner is a Stake and Stones Runs from thence E five 
Degrees South 40 Perch to An Elm tree from thence N 20 Perch to 
a stake and stones from thence W, five Degrees S : 40 perch to a 
heap of Stones, thence to the first Corner Containing five Acres, out 
of the first there is a highway of four Peach Wide to be allowed out 
on the South side. 

Surveyed in April 1739 Pr 

\^^iLLiA!\i Young Surveyor. 

Robert Lotheridge ^ 
Samuel Gray >- Comittee 

Andrew McFarland ) 

Entered by John Chandler Proprietors Clerk 

No 56 is a Second Division Laid out to the Minister in the Lisburn 
propriety & it Lays in the first Range & Lays Quantity for Quality 
Containing 50 Acres the S. W. Corner is a stake & stones from 
thence it Runs North 52 perch & three quarters to a Chisnut tree 
from thence it Runs E. 152 Perch to a pople stadle from thence it 
Runs 52 Perch & 3 Quarters to a stake &: stones & from thence to 
ye Corner first mentioned it Bounds South on the South line of the 
Town N. on home Lott No 61 E. on ye 4 Perch high way Running 
Cross the Town & W. on home Lott No 36. 

No 6 Is a Third Division Laid out to ye Minister In ye Lisburn 
Propriety & it Lays in ye 5th Range & contains 107 acres the S. W. 
Corner is a chisnut tree & from thence it Runs C 14 Perch to a heap 
of stones North from thence 183 perch to a heap of stones from 
thence 183 perch to a heap of stones from thence E 45 perch to a 
heap of stones from thence N 26 perch to a heap of stones thence E 
10 3-4 perch to a heap of stones from thence N 39 1-4 perch to a 
stake & stones thence W 55 perch to a heap of Stones from thence 
S 248 Perch to a heap of stones from thence W 4 Perch to a white 
oak tree & from thence it Runs to the Corner first mentioned it 
Bounds S. on ye Range Line partly & partly on 3d Division No 5 E 
on 2d Division No 29 partly and partly on 3d Division No 7 N on 3d 



No 15 & W. on home Lott No 60 partly & partly on 2d Division 
No 59.- — Surveyed in Oct 1739" 

Pr Wm Young Surveyor. 
Entered by John Chandler Proprietors Clerk. 

The Ministers Home lot was at the center of the town, that is 
ninety five acres of it, and five acres nearly two miles east in the 

Second Division No 56, 50 acres, was on the south line of the 
town about two miles from lot No i. 

Third Division No 6, 107 acres, was in the 5th Range and nearly 
to the east line of the town, five miles or more from the home lot. 

Warrant for First Meeting of the Proprietors held on the 
Newly Purchased Tract called Lisborne Propriety 
August 6, 1740. 
To James Thornton one of the Proprietors of the Lisborne propriety so 
Called in the County of Hampshire. Greeting — 

• Upon application made to Me the subscriber Clerk to said propriety by 
the said James Thornton Robert Peibles James McCallough Mathew Gray 
and John Gray that a new Meeting of Said Proprietors may be Called and! 
to be held at Lisborne you are ^therefor hereby Directed agreeable to the 
votes of said Proprietors and the application to me made to notifie the Pro- 
prietors of the Lisborne propriety aforesaid that they assemble and meet on 
Wednesday the Sixth Day of August nixt at Eight of the Clock in the fore- 
noon at the Dwelling House of John Fergerson In said Lisborne : by Posting 
up a Copy of this warrant there and also in the town of Worcester then and 
there to Transact on the following articles: first to Choose a Moderator of 
said Meeting. — Secondly to Choose a new Clerk to impowr him to Receive 
the Book and Papers of the present Clerk and to Give his Rec't for them. — 
Thirdly to Grant what money may be nessary for building and finishing a 
Meeting House or part thereof, also for settling a minister, or having 
preaching for the present or for so long a time as the Proprietors shall think 
proper, also to Grant for making Bridges Causeways Highways and Roads, 
as may be needful and agree upon proper Methods for altring those that are 
alredy laid out or sequestered for that purpose if there shall be occasion 
thereof and to do anything needfull and necessary for the bringing forward 
the setelment of the place and also to Chouse a Treasurer and Colector for 
Colecting and Receiving future Taxes— and also to Grant Money for such 
other Services as have been already done or ordered to be done or that may 
at said meeting be agreed upon or for any other unforeseen Contingent 
Charges and Maik Return hereof with your doings herein to said Proprietors 
at the time and place of Meeting. 
Dated in Worcester this 22d day of May Anno Dom 1740 

John Chandler Proprietors Clerk.. 

38 history of pelham, mass. 

First Meeting of Proprietors at Lisp.orne Propriety 
August 6th 1740. 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of Lisborne Propriety so ("ailed 
meet and Assembled on August the 6th 1740 first James Thornton 
was chosen Moderator — Secondly William Gray was Chosen Proprie- 
tors Clerk. ^ — Thirdly Voted that the Meeting House be 46 feet in 
leanth and 36 in weadth. 

Forthly Voted that there be one hundred and twinty Pounds in 
Pairt for a meeting house to be Colected aginst the iirst day of May 
nixt ensuing. 

Fiftly Voted that there be One Hundred and twinty pounds in 
part for a meeting house to be collected against the first day of May 
nixt ensuing. 

Sixthly — Voted that James McCoulough James Thornton and 
Samuel Gray be a Comeety to agree with a workman to rease a 
Meeting house and in Close it and lay the under t^oor and hinge the 
Doors and mack the windo frames. 

Seventhly Voted that the settling of a minister be a jorned for 
the Present. 

Eighthly, Voted that there be thirty Pounds Colected for Present 
Preaching until the third Tusday of May nixt. 

Nintly, Voted that there be a cart Pridge Ericted on the Revor 
Commonly Called the West Branch. 

Teenthly Voted that Robert Lotridge Samuel (Jray and James 
Gilmor Jir be a Comeety to regulat and repar the Roads and to buld 
the Bridge menchond on the ninth vote. 

Eleventhly Voted that there be three days work Doan for each 
Lot upon the highways the Bridge Excepted. 

Twilthly Voted that there be Eighty days w-orks Doon upon the 
Middel road and North upon the Cros Road and Eighty Days doon 
upon the Second Road and the Cross road South and twinty days on 
the East hill from the Rever where it is most needful. 

Thirteenthly Voted that this work is to be doon and perhcted 
betwixt the 9th and 20th of September nixt. 

Forteenthly Voted that there be alowed for Each Man six shillings 
per Day and three shillings for one yock of oxen and one shilling for 
.a Cart per day. 

Fifteenthly Voted that Each lot work one day at the Bridge and a 


man to be allowed Eijjht shillings per day at said work and said 
work is to be perficted on the 27 th and 2Sth Days of August nixt. 

Sixteenthly Mathew Gray was chosen Proprietors Treasurer. 

Seventeenthly, John Gray was chosen Colector. 

Eighteenthly Voted that William Gray James Thornton and James 
McColouagh be assessors for the Propriety. 

Nineteenthly Voted that the Meeting is ajorned to the third 
Tusday of May nixt to the Dwelling House of John Fergerson at teen 
of the ("lock in the forenoon. 

James Thornton Moderator. 
Recorded l)y William Gray Proprietors ("lerk. 

Meeiing, May iqth, 1741. 

At a Meeting of the Proprietors of Lisborne so Called upon ajourn- 
ment from August the 6th to May the 19th 1741 then meet and 

First Voted that there be one hundred and twinty pounds Collected 
for the second payment of the meeting house. 

Secondly Voted that there be Colected forty Pounds for to pay 
Debts and to pay for Preaching till the nixt Meeting. 

Thirdly Voted that Robert Peibles Mathew Gray James Thornton 
James McCoulough and John Alexander be a Comeety to proceed 
for the reasing of the Meeting house. 

Forthly Voted that there be forty days work doon upon the midel 
Road and twinty days work to be doon upon the second Road, the 
work is to be doon on the tuesday and wensday of June nixt and 
there is to be alowed for each days work teen shillings and for one 
yock of oxen five shillings per day. 

Fifth" Voted that Samuel Gray has exchanged the four Rod Road 
in his Land with the Propriety. 

Sixtly That John Alexander has exchanged with the Propriety the 
two Rod Road running through his land. 

Seventhly Voted that the Moderator Clerk 'Preasurer and Colector 
be chosen nixt meeting. 

Fightly Voted that the meeting is ajorned to the first tusday of 
September nixt at Eight of the Clock in the fornocn at the dwelling 
house of John P^ergerson. 

James Thorntcjn Moderator. 
Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

40 history ok pelham, mass. 

Meeting of Proprietors Lisborne Propriety, Sept. i, 1741. 

At a meeting of the Lisborne Propriety so Called from ajornment 
from the 19th of May to the first of September 1741 then meet and 

And First was chosen James Thornton Moderatour. 

Secondly, Was chosen William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

Thirdly Voted that there be two Colectors Chosen. 

Forthly Voted that there be one humdred Pounds Assessed for 
the last payment of the Agreement for the Meeting house. 

Fiftly Voted that Mathew Gray was Chosen Proprietors Treasurer 

Sixtly Voted that James Alexander was Chosen the first Colector. 

Seventhly, Voted that James Thornton was Chosen the second 

Eightly, Voted that Mathew Gray go to Londonderry to the Pres- 
beters Comeety with a Call for the Rev. Mr. Johnson. 

Nintly, Voted that the meeting house be seet upon the land that is 
Cleared upon the west sied of the Cros Road where it may be 
thought properest by James I'hornton James McCoulough and 
Sanuicl Gray. 

Teenthly, Voted that the meeting is ajorned to the twinty forth 
day of this instant September to the house of John Fergerson at nin 
of the clock in the for noon. 

James 1"hor.\ ton Moderator. 
Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

Meeting of Proprietors Llsp.oknk PRoi'RiErv, Sept. 

14. 1741 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of Lisborne Propriety so Called 
upon ajournment from Sept. the first to September 24th 1741 then 
meet and Assembled & 

First Voted that tiie seventh \ote of the meeting held on Septem- 
ber the first I 741 is Reconsidered. — 

Secondly Voted that ther be a Fqualety of what money was paid 
for Preaching in our first begining. — 

Thirdly Voted that George Cowan Andrew Macllom and John 
Dick be a Comeety to Reckon with Robert Pebles for what money 
has been paid towards Preaching. 

Forthly, Voted that James Taylor is Cho.scn Colector. 

Fiftly \'oted that the meeting is a icninud to ihc first tus(la\ ( f 


November nixt to the Dwelling House of John Fergerson at nin of 
the Clock in the for noon. 

Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

James Thornton Moderator. 

Meeting of Proprietors Lisborne Proprieiy Nov. 3, 1741. 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of Lisborne Propriety so Called 
upon a journment from September the twinty fourth 1741 to Novem- 
ber the Third then meet and Assembled and 

first Voted Robert Pebles Keep a minister when he comes to be 
our suplayer at twelve shillings per week. 

Secondly, Voted that the peper of Charges for tranchant Preaching 
of twinty one Pounds Eleven shillings and six pence be assessed 
upon the propriety. 

Thirdly, Voted that Mathew Gray be alowed three Pounds for his 
going to London Derry. 

Forthly Voted that the Meeting is a jorned to the second tusday 
of May nixt at nin of the Clock in the for noon at the dwelling house 
of John Fergerson. 

Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

James Thornton Moderator. 

Meeitng of Proprietors Lisborne Proprieiy May ii, 1742. 

At a Meeting of the Proprietors of Lisborne propriety so called 
upon a journment from November the third 1741 to May the Eleventh 
1742 then meet and Assembled and 

First Voted that the meeting be a jorned for half an hour to the 
house of John Fergerson for to Chous a Moderator at the Meeting 
on said day after the afor said a jornment. 

First Voted and was chosen Samuel Gray Moderator. 

Secondly Voted that we interceed with Mr. Robert Abercrombie 
to be our Suplayer as far as he can for this Summer. 

Thirdly, Voted that the meeting is a jorned to the i8th day of this 
instant May at Eight of the Clock in the for noon to the dwelling 
house of John Fergerson. 

Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

Samuel Gray Moderator. 

42 11 IS TORY OK I'Kl.HA.M, MASS. 

A Warrant for the first Meeting of the Proprietors held in the 
Meeting House, and the first meeting where the Propriety is desig- 
nated as Pelhani, May i6, 1743. 

Hampshire ss 
To William (Iray of I'eliiam in the County of Hampshire. Greeting. 

Whereas nine of the Proprietors of Pelham formly Lisborne have made 
application to me the subscriber for a warent for Calling a Meeting of the 
Proprietors of said Pelham to be held at the meeting house in said Pelham 
on the SixteentJi day of may nixt at teen of the Clock in the forenoon in 
order to Choose assessors to assess a Tax of One penny per acre Granted by 
tlie (leneral Court on the Lands in said Propriety in the year 1742 and also 
for the Proprietors to Consider and determine whither the Proprietors will 
raise any money to purchas Elisha Williams Esqr right of Land in said 
Townshipe and appoint some Person to Receive a deed of tlie same and 
order if so the Assessors to Assess said money. 

These are therefore in his Majestys name to require a meeting of the said 
l^roprietors at said time and place for the ends and purposes aforesaid and 
you are hereby recjuired to post up notification in som Publict Place in said 
I\'lham fourteen days before the time for holding said meeting setting forth 
the Time place and occasion there of unter your hand Hereof feal not. 
Deated at Hatfield this 29th day of April 1743. 

IsKE-XL Williams Justes Pace- 
Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

By \'ertue of the within warent I have notified the Proprietors of Pelham 
by posting up a notification l)y the sied of the meeting house door 
May i6th 1743. 

By William (jRAY Proprietors Clerk. 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of Pelham Lawfully warned to 
meet at the meeting house May the iGth 1743 and then was chosen 
John Gray Moderator. 

Secondly, Voted William Gray William Croset and John Hamilton 
was chosen assessors to assess a Tax of one penny per acre Granted 
by the General Court in the year 1742 — 

Thirdly Voted that Robert Lotridge Ephraim Cowan and James 
Thornton be a Comeety to Receive a deed and gave boand for the 
money of Klisha Williams Esq land lying in the Townshipe of Pelham 

Forthly, Voted the meeting ajorned to tne 24th day of May current 
at the meeting house of Pelham then and there to Receive the return 
of the afore said Comeety at two of the Clock in the afternoon. 

John Gray Moderator. 
Recorded by Wilijam Gray Proprietors Clerk. 


Meeiing of Proprietors May 24, 1743. 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of Pelham upon ajornment from 
May the iGtli 1743 to May 24th then meet and Voted that the 
meeting l^e ajorned to the 26th of May C'orrent at twelve of the 
Clock at the meeting house of said Pelham and on the 26th of May 
then meet and ajorned said meeting to the first tusday of July nixt at 
two of the ("lock in after noon at the meeting house of said Pelham. 

John Gray Moderator. 

There is no record of any action at the meeting adjourned to the 
first Tuesday of July, 1743. and from the fact that a warrant for a 
new meeting was issued by Israel Williams of Hatfield on petition of 
nine proprietors, for a meeting on the iSth of August, it is probable 
that there was some illegallity in the manner of issuing the warrant 
under which the meeting had been acting, and the adjourned meeting 
was disregarded, and the proprietors entered a petition for a new 
warrant from Israel \\'illiams, a justice of the peace, living at Hatfield. 


Hampshire ss. 

To William (iray one of the proprietors of the Townshipe called Pelham 
in the County of Hampshire Greeting. 

Whereas nine of the Proprietors of the Afore said Township have made 
application to me the subscriber one of his Majestys Justice of the Peace 
for said County for the Calling of a Meeting of said I^roprietors to be held 
and keept at the meeting house in said Pelham on the iSth day of Augst 
nixt at three of the clock in the afternoon in order to Receive the request of 
a Comeety appointed to Purchase Elisha Williams Esqr Right of Land in 
said Townshipe as by the same under the hand of the said Proprietors 
bearing date the 26th day of July Instant will appear. 

These are therfore in his Majetstys name To require a meeting of the said 
Proprietors at the time and place and for the end afore said and you are 
required to Post up notifications here of in some Publict place in said 
Pelham forteen days at least before the time for holding of said meeting, 
here of they nor you may feal. Dated at Hatfield the 30th day of July in the 
seventeenth year of his Ma'st Reign anno Domine 1743. 

IsKEAL WiLi.LV.Ms Justice Peace. 
Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

Meeting Proprieiors of Pelham Aug. 18, 1743. 

At a Meeting of the Proprietors of Pelham Lawfully warned there 
meet and Assembled on Aug the iSth 1743 And then first was 
Chosen John Gray Moderator. 


Secondly, We Received the report of the Commeety sent to Pur- 
chase Elisha Williams Esqr Right of Land in our Townshipe and 
the Report is that they have purchased said land for the sunie of 
thirty Eight Pounds according to the old tenor and 

Thirdly it is Voted that said money be paid out of the land taxes. 

Forthly Voted that the meeting is ajorned to the last tusday of 
October nixt at three of the Clock in the Afternoon at the Meeting 
house of said Pelham. 

John Gray Moderator. 
Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

By vertiie of the above warant I have notified the Proprietors of Pelham 
by Posting up notification by the Sied of the Meeting house Door of time 
and place within menconed by me. 

William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

( Return of the above Warant Put under the meeting bv mistake.) 

William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

Warrant for Meeting Proprietors Sepl. 28, 1743. 

Hampshire ss 
To William Gray of Pelham In the County of Hampshire. 

Whereas you and Eight more Proprietors of Lands within the Townshipe 
of Pelham afore said have by writing under your hands Dated September 
the loth 1743 applayed to me the subscriber for a warent to Call a meeting 
of said Proprietors for the Purposes hear after mentioned you are therefor 
Required to Post up a notification under your hand in som publick place 
Requiring said Proprietors to meet and assemble togeather at the meeting 
house In said Pelham on Wendsday the 28th Day of this Instant September 
at teen of the Clock in the for noon then and there to agree on a method for 
Calling in the .debts Dne to the Proprietors and getting accounts of Debets 
and Credets and to Receive the meeting house from those that Bult it and 
to agree on a meathod for Calling Proprietors meetings for the futer. 

Given under my hand and seal this 12th day of September 1743 in the 17th 
year of his Majests Reighn. 

Elkezer Porter Justice Peace. 
Recorded by William (iuAY Proprietors Clerk. 

By Vertue of the within warent I have notified the Proprietors of the 
Town of Pelham by Posting up a notification by the sied of the meeting 
house door to meet at time and Place within menshoned. 

Dated at Pelham Sept the 2Slh 1743. 

William Gray I'roprietors Clerk. 


Meeting of Proprietors of Pelham, Sept. 28, 1743. 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the I'own of Pelham warned 
according to Law to meet at the meeting house of said Pelham on 
Sept 28th 1743 then meet and assembled on said day and was chosen 
Samuel Gray Moderator — 

First Voted William Gray James and Robert Peabels to be a 
comeety to Receve the accounts of the Proprietors. 

Secondly Voted that the meeting is ajorned to the 8th day of 
November at the meeting house of said Pelham at teen of the Clock 
in the for noon. 

Samuel Gray Moderator. 
Recorded by \\illia.m Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

Meeting of Proprietors of Pelham, Nov. 8, 1743- 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the Town of Pelham meet and 
Assembled upon ajornment from Sept 28th 1743 to November 8th. 

First Voted that there be a Commeety Chosen to Agree with Mr. 
Robert Abercrombie for what time he has been with us and the 
Commeety is George Cowan John Clark and John Gray and then 
was voted on said day part of the debets perfixed to Each Persons 
name — and then said meeting was ajorned to the ninth of November 
at nin of the Clock in the for noon at the meeting house of said 
Pelham then meet and was chosen John Gray Alexander Konkey and 
James Thornton a commeety to agree with a suitable Person to Keep 
our Minister and also to provid for his horse Keeping and then was 
Chosen Robert Rebels James Thornton and William Gray to be a 
commeety to see what of the Proprietors Vots is nidfull to be 
Recorded and also what Recepts will be given out to those that the 
the Proprietors is indebted to also. 

Voted that John Konky tack Care to shut the meeting house 
Doors — also 

Voted that John Stimson James Thornton John Johnston John 
Gray and George Cowan be a Commeety to Repare to the Clerk for 
warent to Call Proprietors meetings for the future — 

Now folowes the sums granted and perfixed to there names. 

Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

Samuel Gray Moderator. 



The Sums Voikd and Recorded to Each Mann, Nov. 8, 

All these debts are according to the Old Tenor, and 
due to the Proprietors. 









to John (iray for (ilass 64 

to Mr Rol)crt Abercrombie 100 

to Robert I'ebles 05 

to Solomon Boltwood 03 

to Alexander Turner 00 

to Samuel Gray 01 

to James Alexander 01 

to Adam Peteson 01 

to James Thornton for Mr 

Caldwell oS 04 00 

to James Thornton Andrew 
McFarland and William 
Gray to be paid to Cornal 
Chandler oS 09 10 

to James Thornton and 
Ephraim Cowan to be paid 
to Elisha Williams Esq 38 00 00 

to John Crawford for Rum to 
the Meeting house raising 

to Robert Pebles for 53 
Wics boarding of the 

to William Konky 1 

to James Alexander 

to James Tiiornton, 

to William Gray to Mr Aber- 
crombie for hors keeping 
the first winter 

to Alexander Turner 

to Robert Rebels 

to John Gray 

to Patrick Rebels 

to Robert Lotridge for hors 

to John Stinson 

to John (iray 

to Robert Lotridge 

to Robert Rebels 

to James Thornton 

to James McColougii 

to John Gray 

to James Johnston 

to John Dick 

to Robert Rebels 

to Ephraim Cowan 

to John Johnston 

to John Stoddard Esq 

to Mr. Hopkins 

to Timothy Dwight 

to Matthew Gray 

to Samuel Gray 

to Alexander Konkey Jun 

to John Dick 

to George Cowan 

to Alexander Turnei 

to John Gray 

to John Konky 

to Alexander Konky 

to James Taylor 

to William Konky 

to William Croset 

to William Gray for service 

down for the time past in 

are 1 )ebets 


s d 


10 c6 


10 00 


1 r 00 


10 00 


12 CO 


16 00 


00 00 


00 00 


ID 00 


00 00 

un 01 

07 00 


00 00 


10 00 


13 00 


01 06 


16 c6 


10 00 


07 00 


15 00 


oS 00 




Recording for Proprietors. 01 oS co 




Nere begins the grants 

of those that 




Paid for tranchaiit Pr 
to Robert Pebles 
to William Gray 

04 05 00 
01 01 00 




to John Fergerson 

or 00 00 




to Ephriam Cowan 

01 00 00 




to John Gray 

04 II 00 




to Robert Lotridge 

02 01 00 




to James Konky 
to James Hood 

00 10 00 
00 02 00 




to James Gilmore jun 

00 05 CO 




to James Alexander 

CO 05 CO 




to Mathew Gray 

01 12 06 




to Samuel (iray 

01 c6 00 




to James Gilmore jun 

00 13 00 




to James Johnston 

00 10 00 




to William Crosett 

CO 10 00 




to John Alexander 

60 03 00 




s d 

to Andrew Macklam 


03 00 

to Robert Macklam 


03 00 

to James Thornton 


03 00 

to James McColouogh 


03 00 

A'ow follows Debcts 

I'aid to the 


to Robert Rebels 


19 00 

to James Thornton 


1 I 00 

to John Gray 


14 06 

to William CJ ray- 


1 1 00 

to Alexander Konky 


17 00 

to Matthew Gray 


02 06 

John Konky 


16 06 

to Robert Pebels 


13 04 

to William Konky 


10 00 

to Robert Pebels 


02 05 

to Robert Pebels 


13 04 

to John Dick 


09 04 

to J'atrick Pebels 


03 00 

to Robert Pebels 


01 00 

to Mr Robert Abercromb- 

ie 100 

00 00 

to Mr Hopkens 


00 00 

to George Cowan 

to Robert Peebles 

to John Craford 

to Samuel Gray 

to Adam Pateson 

to Alexander Turner ( 

to Solomon Boltwoodby his 

order to Matthew ( 

to John Alexander the affuls 

of a bulock to James Mc- 

Coloug'h in Tallow and 

to Robe It Lotridge 
to Robert Pebles 
to Samuel Gray 
to William Crosett 
to John Johnson i 

to John Alexander 


05 00 







04 OS 











to James Alexander 03 

to Mr Robert Abercrombie 02 
to John Gray for Gleaze to 

the Meeting house 64 

to James Dayton 04 

to James Taylor for paying 

of Mr Hopkens 04 

to John Johnston for paying 

of Mr Hopkens 03 

to John l-ergerson 01 

to James Gilmor sen 00 

to Robert Pebels 01 

to James Johnson for Mr 
Hopkins to James John- 
ston 01 
to Robert Pebels 04 
to Robert Maklam 06 
to John Stinson 00 
This nine pounds to Mr Ho 
was paid to those that paid o 
said money. 

to James Hood 00 

to James Gilmor Jun 00 

to James Thornton Andrew 
McFarland and William 
(Jray to pay John Chand- 
ler jun 08 
to Janies Thornton and 
ICphraim Cowan to pay 
l-:iisha Williams tisq 38 
to Andrew Macklam 60 
to William (iray 04 
to John Stoddard Esqr 02 
to Timothy Dwight Esq to 

John Dick 02 

to William firay co 

to Ephraim Cowan 02 

to Isreal William Esq 01 

to William (]rav 04 





















00 g6 
06 00 
03 00 
06 00 
ut the 

00 oN 
18 GO 
10 00 
17 00 
n 00 

Wakraxt for Mf.etixg of Proprietors Aj^kil 26, 1744. 

Hampshire ss. To William Gray Proprietors Clerk of the Town of 
Pelham and County of Hampshire Greeting. 

These are therefore in his Majestis name to will and require you forth with 
to warn the Proprietors of said Town by Posting up notifications in som 


pul)lick Place within the said Town of Pelham to Meet and Assemble them- 
selves at the Meeting house of said Town on 'I'hursday the 26th day of this 
instant April at nine of the clock in the fore noon then and there. 

I To chouse a committy to tack care of what common land belongs to 
the said Proprietors so as it may be put to the use of the Proprietors— 

II To Chouse a Committy to luck after William \'oung' money due to 
him from the Propriety. 

III To Chouse a Commeety and apoint them witii full Powr to do what 
may be nessery to reas and Cause be brought unto the treasury tlie Taxes 
Assessed upon the Proprietors to end these debets may be with all Conve- 
neant speed Paid according to there order. 

nil to See if the Propriety will consult to renew the lines of all there 
divisions of lands. 

V to all that have any Debets or Credits to bring them in to said meeting. 

VI to see if the propriety will allow Thomas Dick any allowance of 
adition towards building of the meeting house. 

Hearof feal not and mack return of your doings som time before said 
Meeting to one of us Suljscribers as witness our hands and seal this 3th day 
of April anno domni 1744 and in the seventeenth year of his majesties Reigne 
■ &c James Thornton George Cowan John Stinson John Johnston John (iray 

By vertue of the within Warrent I have warned the Proprietors to meet at 
time and Place above mencioned by Posting up a notification by the meeting 
house Door April 26th 1744 

Pk William C.r.w Proprietors Clerk 

Meeting of Proprietors of Pelham April 261H 1744. 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the Town of Pelham Legally 
assembled on thursday the 26th of April 1744 then meet on Said 
day and was chosen Samuel Gray Moderator. 

I Voted that John Stinson Samuel Gray and Robert Pebels be a 
Comeety to luck after what Common Lands belongs to the Propriety. 

II Voted that James Konky Patrick Pebels and John Jonston be 
a Comeety with full Powr to do what may be nesshry to reas and 
Cause to be brought unto the Tresery the Taxes assessed upon the 
Proprietors to the end these Debets may be with all Coii\eneant 
Speed Paid according to there order. 

III Voted that Every neighboure meet and renew there lins of all 
there Lands by the first clay November nixt. 

nil Voted the sums of money set to each Persons name being 
due to them by said Proprietors to wit all old tenor 




Paid to the undernamed 

£ s s 
to Alexander Thomson 01 10 00 
to Samuel McLachay 15 00 00 

to Robert Rebels 01 00 00 

to Mr Robert Abercrombie 63 00 00 
to Robert Pebels 02 03 00 

to Ephraim Cowan 05 06 00 

to John Gray 14 17 00 

to Mr Robert Al:)ercrombie 

tlie sum of 
to Robert Pebels 
to James Thornton 
to William Gray 
to John Hamilton 
to Alexander Thomson 


/ s s 
to Mr Robert Abercromcie 63 00 00 
to Ephram Cowan 05 00 00 

to William Young 03 00 00 

to John Gray for hors keep- 
ing 14 17 00 
to Samuel McLakey 15 00 00 
to Robert Pebels for Bord- 

ing 14 00 00 

to William Gray 01 10 00 

to Robert Pebels 00 12 06 

to James Thornton 00 07 06 

to John Hamilton 01 04 00 

Granted to Alexander Thom- 
son 03 00 00 
September the i8th 1743 
V Voted that Robert Pebels James Thornton and W'illiam Gray 
be a Comeety to geve out orders for the above Debets and to mack 
up accounts with James Alexander and James Taylor Colectors. 

Samuel Gray Moderator 
By Willlam Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

42 GO GO 
32 18 07 

OG 16 g6 
02 19 g8 


04 10 00 

Warrant for Meeting of Proprietors July 24 1744 

To William Cxray Proprietors Clerk of the town of I^elham and County of 
Hampshire Greeting 

These are therefor in his Majestes name to will and Require you forthwith, 
to warn the Proprietors of said Town by Posting up notification in som 
publick place within the town of Pelham to meet and assemble themselves 
at the meetinghouse of said town on tuesday the twinty forth day of this 
instant July at Eight of the Clock in the for noon then and there — 

I To Consider what is nessary to be done with Regard to the Lands 
Claimed by Road Town and Sealam formly supposed to belong to the Pro- 
prietors and to apoint what ever they judge Requisite in that affaire — 

I I To hear what may be Laid before the Proprietors by there Committee 
appointed to agree with one to bulde the meeting house and to order whatever 
tiiey may find necessary for the finishing of that business. 

III To enquire what there Committee appointed to erase the Taxes 
alredy assessed have don in that matter — and to enlarge there Power if 
found necessary and appoint others in place of such or all of them who 
cannot or refuse to serve. 

Hereof feal not and mack due return of your doings to one of us the sub- 
scribers before said meeting as witness our hands and seal this ninth day of 
July One thousand seven hundred and forty foure and in the P^ighteenth 
\ear of liis majestes Reighn. 

c;o msiOKV OK rKI.IIAM. MASS. 

By vcrtue of the above warcnt I have warned tlie Proprietors by posting 
up a notification by tlie side of the meeting house door to meet at time and 
place above mencioned July y' 24"' 1744 

llv William (Irav Proprietors Clerk. 

MkEI'ING of PROI-RIKIOKS jrL\- 24 I 7 44 

At a Meeting of the Proprelors of the town of Pelhani on tusday 
the 24th day of July 1744 then meet on Said day and then was chosen 
Robert Pebels Moderator 

I Voted that there be a connneetly Chosen to tack all proper 
methods to see what Land is lost l)y Preand^ling the liiLs by Road 

Town and Sealom. The said Commeety is John Stinso!i John 
Koiik\- and James C.ilmor sen the said Commeetty is appointed to 
bring what each Lot has lost that Lys upon the said lins. 

II X'oted that Thomas and John Dicks be alowed the sume of 
thirty pounds according to the old tenor in case they Deliver up there 
bounds which they deceived of the Commetty that agreed with them 
to bueld the meeting House 

III X'oted that Thomas Dick l)e a Commeety man in the rcjom of 
|ohn Johnson to tack Care of the Ta.xes alredy essessed according as 
it IS -nenshoned in the vote in April! the 26th 1744 also that the said 
Comnieety is alowed by vote to Call Timothy Dwighl Ksc] for there 
assistance when need Recfuires. 

IIII Voted that this meeting is ajourned to the first tusday of 
October next at Light of the Clock in the for noon at the Meeting 
houseof said Pelham to Receive the returns of the above Commeettys 

RoiiKKi- I^1':bels Moderator 

Paid to Thomas I )it:k by order of the 'j'reserer the sum /"15, 00 s, 00 p. 

Adjourned Meetinc; of Prorrieiors Oci' 2 1744. 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of tlie Town of Pelham Lpon 
ajornnient from the 24th day of July 1744 to the 2th of October fol- 
lowing to Receive the Report of the Commeete chosen to see what 
Land is lost in runing our lin betvvi.xt us and the town of Road town 
Sealom and then was chosen Thomas Dick Moderator in Place of 
Robert Pebels being absent and was 

Voted that this meeting is ajorn'd to the 30th of this instant Octo- 
ber at Light of the Clock in the for noon at the meeting house of 





said Pelham for ter see what meathod will be taiken as to the said 
land lost upon our north lin 

Thomas Dick Moderator 
Paid to John Dick by order of the Treasurer the sum of ^15-00-00 

Adjourned Meeting of Proprietors Oct 30 1744 
At a meeting upon ajorment from October the 2th 1744 to the 30th 
of said October there Meet on said day and there was Voted that 
those that lost there Land by Perambulating the lin betwixt us and 
Road Town and Sealoni shall have Reasonoble Recestucion fore the 
same as shall be ajudged by a Commeety yet to chosen. 

This meeting is by vot ajorned to the second tusday of March 
nixt furder to consult what meathods may be taiken about said Land 
at teen of the Clock in the for noon at the Meeting house of Said 
Pelham Dick Modc^rator 

Adjourned Meetixc; of the Proprietors March 12 1745 

At a Meeting of the Proprietors of Town of Pelham upon ajorn- 
ment from the 30th day of October 1744 and from said October it 
was ajorned to the 12th day of March nixt then meet on said day 
and was chosen John Gray Moderator by Reason of Thomas Dick 
being absent First Voted that James Konky go to Kings Town to 
see if he can prevent the Selling of the Property for money Borowed 
by them from Samuel Fergerson and said James Konky is to doit in 
what meathod he can when he gos their. 

This Meeting is ajorned by vot to the Second tusday of August 
nixt at teen of the clock in the fore noon at the Meeting House of 
said Pelham forder to Consider the afearn of Said Land 

John Gray Moderator 

Adjourned Meeting of the Proprietors Au(;ust 13 1745 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the Town of Pelham upon 
ajornment from the 12th day of March 1744 to the 13th of August 
1745 then meet on said day and was chosen Thomas Dick Moderator 
by reason of John Gray being absent and by Vot this Meeting is 
ajourned to the last tusday of September nixt at twelve of the Clock 
at the Meeting house of said Pelham forder to Conseder the ofear 
of the land thats a wanting on our north line 

Thomas Dick Moderator. 

52 history of pelhaim, mass. 

Adjourned Meetino of Proprietors Sept 24 1745 

At a Meeting of the Proprietors of tlie Town of Pelham upon 
ajornment from the 13th of August 1745 to the 24th day of Septem- 
ber folowing there meet on said day and was Chosen James Konlvy 
Moderator, by Reason of Thomas Dicls. being absent. 

First Voted that there be a Commeette Chosen to see what each 
Lot Corns Short in the North Reange Betwi.xt the Cros Road and 
the west end of Said Reange — the Commeette Chosen is to wit James 
Alexander James Konky and John Clark 

By vot this Meeting is ajourned to the last tusday of November 
ni.xt at teen of the Clock in the for noon at the Meeting house of 
Said Pelham forder to Consider the ofFear of the land Lost on our 
north Lin 

James Konky Moderator 
By William Gray Proprietors Clerk. 

.As the next meeting was called by a warrent it shows that this 
much adjourned meeting failed to meet on the last Tuesday of Novem- 
ber 1745. A marginal note explains the result. 

'' A meeting upon ajornment, and now this meeting sinks by not 
meeting." The sinking of the meeting allowed rest and further 
consideration before the ne.xt meeting ot the Proprietors which was not 
called until the following April when the question of " Land lost by 
Preambling" was taken up again. 


To William Gray Proprietors Clerk for the Town of Pelham and County 
of Hampshire— Greeting — These are thefore in his Majestes name to will 
and Require you forth with to warn the Proprietors of the Town of Pelham 
by notification to meet and assemble them selves at the meeting house of 
said Pelham on tusday the Eight day of April at nin of the Clock in the for 
noon then and there to Consider of a Meathod to meak Satisfaction to those 
of the Propriety that Lost Land by Preambling our town lin by Road town 
and Sealom at the desire of Samuel Gray 

2iy to see if the Propriety will Chuse a Commeette to go and talk with our 
first Commeette to Wit Andrew McFarland Robert Lotridge and Samuel 
Gray to see if they will Make Satisfaction for there not Running the line 
according to these Directions and also upon there Refusal to Mack Satis- 
faction said commeette to be impowered to Procecut said Commeette at the 
Law for there non Performansc which Caused our Second Commeette to go 
astray in the laying out our Second and third divisions which is Lickly to 
Cost the I'reprietry a (ireat deal of truble and Charge 


5ly To see if the Propriety will chuse a Conimeette to luck after what 
Common land belongs to the Propriety. 

Heare of feal not and Mack due return to one of us the Subscribers sum 
time befor said meeting as witness our hands and seal this third day of 
March A. D. 1745-6 and in the nineteethyear of the Reigneof ourSouvraine 
Lord George the Second of Great Brietaen King &c 

Commeette James Thornton 
George Cowan 
John Stinson 
John Johnson 

By Vertue of the within Warrant I have notified the Propriety by Posting 
up a notification by the side of the meeting house door to meet at time and 
Place within mencioned by me 

William Gray Proprietors Clerk 

Meetinc. of Proprietors April 8, 1746 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the Town of Pelham on tusday 
the Eight day of Aprill 1746 then meet on Said Day and was Chosen' 
Thomas Dick moderator. 

First Voted that there be no Commeette Chosen to Vine the Land 
that was Lost on our north Hn by Road Town and Sealom. 

Secondly Voted that there be a Commeette Chosen to talk with the 
Commeette that Laid out the hom Lots of said Town 

Thirdly Voted that said Commeette is George Cowan James Alex- 
ander and John Johnston. Said Commetee is George Cowan 
James Alexander and John Johnston. The Return of Said 
Commettee is that Samuel Gray will maake no Satisfaction till the 
Law Macks him and Robert Latridge Pleads not Gilty for the Reason 
that he was over Pour'd by the Rest of Said Commeette 

Fourthly Voted that the above said Commeette is not to truble the 
other Commeette at ye Law which Laid out the first Lots 

Fiftly Voted that there be no Commeette to luck after the Common 
land for the Present 

Thomas Dick Moderator. 
Recorded by William Gray Proprietors Clerk 

The above is the last regularly called meeting of the Proprietors 
that was called and held at the meeting house where the action of the 
meetings was spread upon the Proprietors Book and the temper of 
the meeting, judging from the record, was to quit fretting and fuming 




about "Land lost by Preambulating by Road Town and Sealom " on 
the north Une of the town. That it was a substantial dropping of 
the question there can be little doubt, for at least a dozen years and 
more, and when it was next agitated it was more in the form of 
individuals seeking to have the Proprietors recompense them for 
alleged loss of land. Whether the loss complained of was caused 
by a land grab on the part of the people of Road Town and Sealom 
(Shutesbury and New Salem) or that the shortage was due to mis- 
takes in surveying we are unable to determine. It may have been 
from defective surveying and from difficulty in finding the exact line 
between the towns and not chargeable to any intent on the part of 
Roadtown people to grab land belonging to the inhabitants of Pelham. 

From April 8, 1746 until April 27 a. d. 1760 the Original Proprie- 
tors Book had no line written upon its pages. 

At that time there was a revival of the charge of loss of land and 
under the last named date we find the record of Thomas Dick taking 
the oath as Proprietors Clerk, preparatory to calling a meeting of the 
Proprietors to Consider the matter of the lost land. It will be noticed 
that none of the meetings of the proprietors were called or held at 
the meeting house but at private houses of proprietors and mostly if 
not wholly at the house of Thomas Dick who seems to have been the 
prime mover or organizer of the new campaign to recover lost lands. 

Thomas Dick Sworn as Proprietors Clerk. 

Hampshipe ss April 27 1761 
Then Thomas Dick of Pelham in the same County upon Declaring 
himself to be Chosen Clerk of the Lisburn Propreity, So Called in 
said Pelham was Sworn to the true and faithfull Discharge of his 
trust in that office according to the best of his Knowledge c\; 

Coram C. Phelps Justice Peace 

Entered from the Original 

Pr Th(jnl-\s Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Warrant for Proprietors Meetik(; May 28 1761 

Hampshire ss: To Robert Lothridge hereafter named Gent, One of the 
Proprietors of a Tract of Land in Pelham in sd County Called the Lisburn 
Propriety— Greeting— 


Whereas application In writing bearing Date the twenty sixth day of 
March last hais been made to Me tlie Subscriber one of his Majestys Jus- 
ticies of the Peace for the County of Hampshire by Robert Lotridge Thomas 
Johnston Alexander Turner Thomas Dick Mathew Gray, five of the Pro- 
prietors of a large Tract of land lying in Pelham in the County of Hamp- 
shire Called the Lisburn Propriety — Bounded Northrly Partly by Roadtown 
and partly by New Salem, Easterly by Greenwich, Southerly by a range of 
the Equivalent land formerly owned by Whittlesey and Hall and Westerly 
by the District of Amherst, which tract was Originally owned and held in 
Common by a body of Proprietors, and whereof the Partion is not to this day 
Compleated — Requesting a Warrant for Calling of a meeting of sd Proprie- 
tors to be Holden at the House of Thomas Dick Inholder in Pelham afore- 
said on Wednesday the twenty eight day of May next at ten of the Clock in 
the forenoon for the purposes folowing to wit — In the first place to Choose a 
Moderator for Sd Meeting. 

Nextly to Chuse a Clerk to enter and Record tlie Votes and doings of the 
Proprietors — Also to Consider and determine whether there hais not been a 
very great error made in laying out of all the Lots in Said Propriety that 
were Supposed to have been laid adjoining on the north line of Sd tract 
much to the wrong and loss of the Proprietors to whom Sd Lots were laid 
out, the then Sd five Proprietors supposing that by reason of a mistake of 
said line Considerable land has been assigned to Sd Proprietors in part of 
satisfaction of their share in Sd tract of land which never was any part of 
the same and therefor Cannot be held by them to whom Sd lots was laid out. 
Allso if the Proprietors when met shall be satisfied that such an error as the 
above said has been Committed to desire some method whereby to make 
Satisfaction to Such Proprietors as have been Injured thereby. — Also to 
Consider and Determine whither they will proceed to divide the Lands in Sd 
tract that have hitherto lain in Common and Undivided, and in what manner. 
You are therefore hereby required to notify and warn the Proprietors of Sd 
tract of land that they Assemble themselves at the time and place above 
specified then and there to Consider and Act upon the articles above men- 
tioned which Warning you are to give them by Posting up a notification in 
writing in some public place or places in Sd Town of Pelham fourteen days 
at lest before the day above mentioned for holding Sd meeting to wit ye 
twenty eight day of May next therein setting forth particularly the time place 
and business of Sd meeting herein before mentioned. 

Hear of you may not fail and you are to- make return of this precept with 
your doings in obedience thereto fairly Indorsed thereon Into said .Meeting 
at the opening of the same. 

Given under my hand and seal at Northampton in Sd County of Hamp- 
shire this ninth day of April Anno Dom 1761 in the Thirty third year of 
His Majestys Reighn 

Joseph Hawley 

Entered from the Original by Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 
Pelham May 28 1760 


Pelham May 28 1760— By V^ertue of the above warrant I have notified the 
Proprietors to meet at times and place thereon mentioned by setting up a 
notification at Worcester and Pelham 

Robert Latriijge 

Entered from the Original Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Meetinc; ok Proprietors May 28 1760 

At a Meeting of the Proprietors of the Lisburn Propriety ('ailed. 
on the 28 day of May 1760 at the House of I'homas Dick Inholder. 

First Thomas Dick was chosen Moderator 

Secondly Thomas Dick was Chosen Clerk. 

Thirdly Patrick Pebels chosen to get Colonal Timothy Dwight 
William Young and Mr Rust in order to find the true line on the 
north side of the above named propriety 

Forthly Voted that William Crosett Alexander Turner and Robert 
Lothridge be a Commeete to search out what common land is in Sd 
tract above and make report to the Proprietors when next met 

Fiftly Voted that this meeting is ajorned to tusday the twenty 
third of September next at ten of the Clock in the forenoon to said 

Recorded by 'Phomas Dick Proprietors Clerk. 

Adjourned Meeitno Septe-mher 23 1760 

At a meeting of the Proprietors aforesaid held by adjournment 
from May 28 1760 to Sept 23 1760 at ten oclock fornoon and then 
met at the Dwelling house of I'homas Dick above said in Sd Pelham 

First Voted that those Proprietors that hais lost Land on the north 
line of the Propriety have Satisfaction at the Judgment of a Com- 
mete to be chosen for that business 

Secondly Voted that David Huston John Craford and William 
Harkness be a Commeette to vew the 1-and lost on said line and to 
value the same 

Thirdly Voted that the Said Committee make return of their doings 
to the Propretors when next meet. 

Forthly Voted that Capt Robert Lotheridge Alexender Turnorand 
William Crosett be a Commeette to sell what Common lands belongs 
to the Proprietors that there is no claim to or Return of. 

Fiftly Voted that there be two shillings and Fight Pence laid on 
each sixteeth part of said Property to defray charges 



Sixtly Voted that 'I'homas Dick be Treasurer for said Proprietors 
Seventhly Voted to adjourn said meeting to the twenty fifth day of 
December next to Meet at one o clock afternoon at the Dwelling 
house of Thomas Dick Inholder at Pelham aforesaid. 

Recorded by Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Adjourned Meeting Dec. 25 1760 

At a meeting of the Proprietors aforesaid held by ajornment from 
September 23 1760 to Dec. 25, 1760 at one of the Clock afternoon 
and then met the dwelling house of Thomas Dick in Pelham Inholder. 

First Voted that Alexander McCulogh and Patrick McMullen is 
added as Commetee men to Prise the Land lost on the north side of 
said Property 

Secondly Voted that Thomas Dick Alexander McColough and John 
Dick be a Commete to expose the Proprietors Lands for Sale for 
payment of Rates as there shall be ocation 

Thirdly Voted Patrick Peobels for servis done the Property. 

Sixtly Voted that this meeting is adjourned to May 27, 1761 atone 
oclock afternoon to Meet at the Dwelling house of Thomas Dick in 
Pelham aforesaid 

Recorded by Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Adjourned Meetino May 27 1761 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the Lisburn Propriety so called 
held by ajournment from December 25 1760 to May 27 1761 at one 
o'clock afternoon at the Dwelling house of Thomas Dick in Pelham 

First Voted that the meeting is adjurned for one hour to meet at 
this place 

Secondly Voted that the aprisement rendered by the Commeetee 
to prize the land lost on the north lins of said Pelham is excepted. 

Thirdly Voted to send a petition to the Genaral Court to help us 
concerning said land 

Fourthly Voted Thomas Dick to carry on said petition 

Fiftly Voted that this meeting is adjourned to the last Monday of 
June next to meet at one oclock afternoon at the Dwelling house of 
Thomas Dick Inholder in said Pelham 

Recorded by Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

58 hisioky of pelham, mass. 

Warrant for Proprietors Meeting June 9, 1761 

Hampshire s. s. — To Thomas Johnston hereafter named one of the 
Proprietors of a large tract of land in Pelham in Sd County — Greeting. 

Whereas Application in writing dated the first day of March has been 
made to me the subscriber one of his majestys Justices of the Peace for the 
Sd County of Hampshire by Thomas Johnston Patrick Peebles John Conky 
John Clark and Robert Lotheridge, five of the Proprietors of a large tract of 
Land in Pelham aforesaid called the Lisburn Propriety lyeing in Comen, the 
proportion of each Proprietor therein being stated, Bounded northerly by 
Shutesbury and Partly by New Salem, Easterly by Greenwich, South by a 
Reange of the Equivalent land formerly owned by Whitelsy and Hall and 
Westerly by the District of Amherst requesting a warrant for the warning 
of a Meeting of the Proprietors of Sd tract to be holden at the Dwelling 
house of Thomas Dick Inholder in said Pelham aforesaid on Wendsday the 
ninth day of June next at one of the Clock afternoon for the purposes folow- 
ing to wit 

In the first place to chose a Clerk to enter and Record all those votes and 
orders that shall be made and passed in the meeting of Sd Proprietors. 

Also to Consider and determine whether there hais not been a great Error 
made in laying out all the Lots in Sd tract that were supposed to have laid 
adjoining the North line of Sd tract to the great wrong and loss of those 
particular Proprietors to whom Sd lots were laid out they the five Proprietors 
apprehending that by reason of a mistake of said line Considerable land has 
been assigned to said particular Proprietors in part satisfaction of thare 
shares in said tract which never was any part of the same nor did belong 
thereto and lying Northward of Sd line and therefore cannot be held by the 
Particular Proprietors to whom Sd land was laid out and thereby a deficulty 
hais hapened to them of the quantity of land in Sd tract which was supposed 
to have been aloted to them — also if the Proprietors when met shall be satis- 
fied that such an Error as the above Sd has been Comited to devise and 
order some Method whereby to make satisfaction to such Proprietors as 
have been Injured thereby — Also to Consider and determine whither they 
will proceed to set out and alot the lands within Sd tract that have not hither- 
to been laid out and in what Manner 

You are therefore in his Majestes name hereby recjuired to notify and 
warn the Proprietors of said tract of Land that they assemble themselves at 
the time and place above Mentioned which warning you are to give them by 
posting up notification in writing under your hand in some publick Place or 
places in said Town of Pelham fourteen days at least before the day above 
mention for holding said meeting therein particularly setting forth the time 
place and business of Sd meeting herein before mentioned 

Hereof you may not feal and you are to make Return of the presents with 
your doing in obedience to the same fairly certified thereon under your hand 
into said meeting at the time aforementioned for holding the same. 


Given under my liand and seal at Northampton in Sd County this eighth 
day of May A. D. 1762 in the Second year of his Majestys Reighn. 

Joseph Hawlev 
Entered from the Original by Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Return of Warrant 
By Virtue of a Warrant to me directed under the hand and seal of Joseph 
Hawley one of his Majestys Justices of the peace I have warned the Pro- 
prietors of the Lisburn Proprietie so called to meet at the Dwelling House of 
Thomas Dick at one oclock afternoon Wednsday ninth day of June 1762 
acording to the Direction in Sd Warrant 

Thomas Johnson 
Entered from the Original Pr Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Meeitnc; of Proprieicjrs June g 1762 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the Lisburn Proprietie so called, 
at the Dwelling house of Thomas Dick in Pelham Inholder on \^■edns- 
day the ninth day of June 1762 at One oclock afternoon the folowing 
Proprietors personally appeared Viz. Capt Robert Lothridge two 
Rights, Lieut John Stevinson one — John Dick one Robert McColough 
one, Robert Meklem one John Conky one, James Taft one, Daniel 
Gray one,. Alexander Turner one George Cowan one Thomas John- 
ston one George Patterson one John Clark two Patrick Peebles three 
Thomas Dick two Moses Gray one John Peebles one — 

First Chosen Thomas Dick Moderator 

Secondly Chosen Thomas Dick Clerk 

'i'hirdly Chosen Thomas Dick to prefer a petition to the General 
Court to have the Proprietors land taxed to pay for land lost by Per- 
ambiilating the lines between them Salem and Roadtown or any other 
Method they shall think proper. 

Forthly — Voted that this Meeting is ajourned to the tirst Monday 
in October next at One Oclock afternoon at the house of Thomas 
Dick in Sd Pelham 

T'he above Vots were passed — 

Attest Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Report of Committee Chosen to Appraise the Land Lost 
An appraisment on Record of a tract of land that is cut off the 
several lots on the North Range together with number of acres each 
lot has lost in Said Rainge 

Alexander McColoch 

David Huston 

Patrick McMillen, Committee 


Thk Sum of the Appraisement of the Same. 

Division No Acres Value 
Per Acre 

3fl 7 24:32 /0-5-4 

3d 15 i7;20 0-1-4 

Home Lot 60 24.144 0-2-8 

3d 8 23.119 0-5-4 

3d 17 5-32 o-i-o 

Home Lot 59 29.63 0-5-4 

2d 31 9.40 0-4-0 

3d 9 I22-0O 15 acres too much- I More than the 

3d 10 17 " " " i records gives 

2d 34 16.35 0-2-8 

3d 23 1S.50 0-1-4 

3d 24 0.146 o-i-o 

2d 12 17.00 O-I-O 

2d II 22.00 O-I-O 

2d 10 7.40 0-9-0 

2d 9 12.40 0-5-4 

H. Lot 18 63-132 0-5-4 

To this appraisement the Committee made solemn oath to its truth- 
fuhiess as follows — 

Hampshire May 27 A D 1761 
Then the within named Alexander McColoch David Huston Patrick Mc- 
Millen all of Pelham within said County Apprising made sollem oath to the 
truth of the above and within apprisement according to the list therein 

Coram C. Phelps Justice Peace 
Entered from the Original Pr Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

According to the SAvorn statement of this committee there was a 
loss of about 431 acres of land in the Sixth Range in a length of 
nearly eight miles and the sworn value per acre on the average would 
be about three shillings, sixty pounds perhaps, all told. Hardly 
enough to pay for the trouble and expense incurred in endeavoring to 
get a settlement during all the years the matter was agitated. 

The subscription to the oath by the Committee appointed to appraise 
the lost land is the last entry on the book until 1767 when the 
clamor for the lost land opened afresh, as will appear. 

Warrant for Proprietors Meeting March 16 1767 

Hampshire s.s. To Hugh Johnson one of the Proprietors of a tract of 
land in Pelham in the County of Hampshire Called the Lisburn I'ropriety 
Greeting — 

TH^: FIRSr SKiri.KRS. 6 1 

Whereas Application hath been made to me the Subscriber one of his 
Majestys Justices of the Peace for the County above Sd by Seven of the 
Proprietors of the land above mentioned for a Warrant to Call a Meeting of 
Sd Proprietors as soon as may be for the purposes hereafter to be mentioned 
—These are therefore in his Majestys name to require you forthwith to 
notifie the above named Proprietors to meet at the dwelling house of Thomas 
Dick Inholder in Sd Pelham on Monday the sixteenth day of March next at 
ten oclock in the forenoon then and there after a Moderator chosen to act on 
the following articles viz to Make Choice of such officers as they shall find 

Secondly To agree on Method for calling meetings of the Proprietors for 
the future 

Thirdly To Enquire what became of the petition that was sent to the 
General Court to get money laid on to pay those that lost land on the north 
side of the Town of Pelham 

Forthly To Agree on some method to recompense those that lost land as 

Fifthly To make provision for the payment of those that have done service 
for the Property 

Sixthly To see if the Proprietors will agree to sell what Common land 
• they have and what method they will proceed in to do it if so. 

Hearof fail not but have you this warrant at the place when and time when 
this meeting is set as within with return of your doing thereon. 

Given under my hand and seal at Hadley the nineteenth day of February 
Anno Dom 1767 and seventh year of the Kings Reighn 

Ebenzeer Porter Jus Peace. 
Entered from the Original l)y Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk. 

Pelham March i6th 1767 I]y Virtue of the within Warrant I have notified 
the Proprietors of the within Mentioned Property by a notification set up to 
meet at time and place within mentioned 

HucH Johnson 
Entered from the Original Thomas Dick I^roprietors Clerk 

Proprietors Meeting March 16 1767 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the Lisburn Propriety so 
called at the Dwelling House of Thomas Dick in Pelham on Monday 
the sixteenth day of March 1767 

Chosen Hugh Johnston Moderator — 

Secondly Chosen George Patteson Thomas Dick and Hugh John- 
son to be a Committee to Call Meetings for the future 

Thirdly Voted that the said meetings shall be warned by setting 
notifications in some publick Place in Said Town of Pelham 

Forthly Voted that Joseph Hawley Esq shall be consulted to see 
how we shall conduct ourselves in Selling the Roads and other 
Common Lands 


Fiftly, Voted, to Thomas Dick for money laid out for Proprietors 
and for service done them twelve pounds Lawful money — 

Sixthly Voted to Alexander McCulough for Service done twelve 

Seventhly Voted to John Gray for service done four shillings — 

Eighthly Voted to the heirs of David Huston, Deceased, twelve 
shillings — 

Ninthly Voted to Patrick Peebles one pound twelve shillings and 
four pence 

Tenthly Voted to Hugh Johnston one shilling and four pence 

Eleventhly Voted to adjourn said Meeting to the tirst Monday in 
April next to one of the Clock afternoon to meet at the Dwelling 
House of Thomas Dick Inholder in Pelham above said 

HuoH JoHNSiON Moderator 

The above votes were passed 

Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Proprietors Meetin(; April 6 1767 

At a meeting on adjournment from Monday the Sixteenth day of 
March 1767 to Monday the sixth day of April 1767 

First Chose John Gray Moderator 

Second Voted to bring Joseph Hawley Esq out to our next meet- 
ing to counsel with him about our affairs in our present Dificulty — 

Thirdly Voted to Adjourn this Meeting to Thursday the fourteenth 
day of April currant to meet at 10 oclock foornoon at the Dwelling 
house of Thomas Dick in said Pelham 

John Gray Moderator 

The above votes were passed attest 

Thomas I^ick. Proprietors Clerk 

Proprietors Meeitnc; April 14 1767 

At a Meeting on adjournment from Monday the Sixth day of April 
to tusday the fourteenth day of said month. 

First Voted to rais money on each one owning land in the Propriety 
acording to what he poses for Charges arisen on the Property 

Second Voted to assess one half peny per acer on each Mr Aber- 
crombees and Mr Grahams lots they live on Roads and Common 
Land excepted 


Thirdly Chosen Thomas Dick Hugh Johnston and Ebenezer Gray 
Assessors — 

Forthly Chose Patrick Peebles Colector to gather Said Rates — 

Fifthly Voted to sell the Common Lands and what Roads can be- 
sold according to Law belonging to the Propriety — 

Sixthly Chose John Dick George Patterson and Alexander McCol- 
ough to be Committes to sell the Common Land and Roads and to 
give titles. 

Seventhly Voted to Adjorn Said meeting to the general election 
day it being the 27 day of May next at ten oclock in the foornoon at 
the Dwilling House of Thomas Dick in said Pelham 

John Gray Moderator 

'["he above votes were passed 

Attest Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Proprietors Meetino May 27 1767 

At a Meeting of the Proprietors of the Lisburn Propriety so called 
on adjornment from tusday the fourteenth day of April 1767 to May 
twenty seventh next folowing then on said day. 

Chose Hugh Johnston Moderator for said meeting 

Voted to adjourn said meeting to tusday the eight day of Septem- 
ber next folowing at ten oclock forenoon at the Dwelling house of" 
Thomas Dick in Sd Pelham 

HucH loHNsioN Moderator 

The above votes were pased 

Attest Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Proprietors Meetini; Sepiembkr 8 1767 

At a meeting of the Proprietors of the Lisburn Propriety so called 
on adjornment from May 27 1767 to tusday the eight day of Septem- 
ber folowing then meet 

First Voted to recall a vote Voted April the 14th 1767 wherein 
they voted to assess one half penny per acre on each acre of land to 
pay charges on said Propriety — 

Second Voted to assess on each acer of land belonging to the 
Propriety three farthings pr acer to pay charges arisen on the Prop- 
erty except what has been laid out by the Proprietors for Publick 
uses — 


Thirdly Voted to adjoin said meeting to Tusday the twenty ninth 
day of September current to four oclock afternoon to meet at the 
Dwelling house of Thomas Dick in Pelham Inholder 

Hu(;h Johnston Moderator 
The above votes were pased 

Attest Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Wakkaxt for Proprietors Meeting August 21 1767 

Hampshire ss. To Thomas Dick clerk of the l^roprietors of Town of 
Pelham & County of Hampshire Greeting. 

These are therefore in his Majestys name to will and require you forthwith 
to warn the Proprietors of Said Town known by the name of Lisburn Ih'op- 
riety to meet at the hous of Said Dick on fryday 25th of Agust next at one 
of the clock afternoon on consideration of the folowing purposes & hereafter 
Mentioned & after a Moderator Chosen to act on the folowing 

I first to Consider what to do in withstanding Sd Dick in the Common 
court of Common Pleas in Said County on the last tusday of Agust next 

2ly If they do they are to nominat a man for Said business 

3ly If they do not chuse to stand the law they are to consider what method 
to decide the (jievances of said Dick and others complaining in the same 
cause of Said Dick 

Hereof fail notand make return sometime before said meeting to one of 
us the subscribers as witness our hand and seal 31st of July Anno Domini 
1767 and in the seventh vear of his Majestys Reign 

Entered from the (Original Pr Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 


Pursuant to Warrant under the hands and seal of Hugh Johnston and 
George Patterson Committee of the Proprietors in Pelham called and known 
by the name of Lisburn Propriety to me directed I hereby warn and notify 
said Proprietors to meet on Friday the 25th day of Agust currant at one of 
the Clock afternoon at my Dwelling house in said Pelham and after a 
Moderator chosen 

First to Consider what to do in withstanding me in the Common Court of 
Common Pleas to be holden at Springfield the last day of Agust current 

Secondly If they do they are to nominate a man for said business 

Thirdly If they do not chuse to stand the law they are to consider what 
method to decide the grievance of I and others complaining in the same 
• cause that I do 

Dated at Pelham this first day of Agust Anno Domini 1767 

Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

the first settlers. 65 

Meeitni; of Proprietors August 21. 1767 

At a meeting of the proprietors of the Lisburn Propriety so called 
at the House of Thomas Dick in Pelham Inholder on Friday the 2 1 
day of xA-gust 1767 at one of the Clock Afternoon 

ist Chosen Hugh Johnston Moderator 

2ly Voted to adjorn said Meeting to four of the Clock afternoon 
of said day 

3ly Voted that they will not stand me in the Law in a case wherein 
I sue for money laid out and service done for them to be heard and 
tried at the court of Common pleas to be holden on tusday the 25th 
day of Agust current at Springfield in this County of Hampshire 

4ly Voted that they will not stand me in the Law in another case 
wherein I have sued the Proprietors a division of the third division 
of lots in Sd Pelham 

5ly Voted that the meeting is adjorned to tusday the eighth clay of 
September Current at one of the (Jlock afternoon at this place 

Hugh Johnston Moderator 

The above votes were passed 

Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk 

Meeting of the Proprietors Sept 8 1767 

At a Meeting of the Proprietors of the Lisburn Propriety on', 
adjornment from Fryday the 21st day of Agust 1767 to tusday the 
Eight day of Sept next then met on Said day and adjourned the 
meeting to tusday the 29th of Said month to five oclock afternoon. 

Hugh Johnston Moderator 
The above vote was passed 

Thomas Dick Proprietors Clerk. 

The above is the last entry in the Proprietors Record Book,, 
leaving one half of the book blank waiting for the record of the 
adjourned meeting which was to be held on the 2gth of September, 
but no record is found here or elsewhere and the doings of the Lisburn 
Propriety at the Dwelling House of Thomas Dick were ended and 
forever. How they settled the lost land trouble, or how they con- 
cluded a settlement with Thomas Dick after voting " not to stand 
him in the law " cannot be stated for lack of data. 

\Miy the meetings of the Proprietors were excluded from the 


meeting house and were held at the tavern of the renowned Thomas 
Dick does not appear. Why the business of the Propriety should 
remain dormant from 1746 until 1760, then for two years be pressing, 
— then no record of action for five years, and to close abruptly 
after a short campaign of a few months in 1767, with Thomas Dick 
filling nearly all the offices and the active campaigner for the Propri- 
etors, — with several suits at law against his fellow Proprietors, 
and the record to end with the suits unsettled and the " Lost Land " 
claim unsatisfied we would be pleased to give information upon, but 
must leave them in the unsatisfactory manner the record leaves all 
these matters. 

We have copied everything in this first Record Iiook except the 
monotonous and hardly intelligible descriptions of the 183 parcels of 
land distributed to the proprietors in three separate divisions by lot. 
It is easy to see how there might be uncertainty and trouble concern- 
ing the lands, not only in the north or sixth range but all over the 

There were five range roads that were reserved in the distribution 
of the lands and when they were not built the land was allowed to 
those whose lands the roads crossed, or from whose lands the two 
rods in width was reser\'ed, either by sale or by exchange, which 
must have been liable to tangle matters. To this may added the great 
liabilitv to inaccuracies in the survey of such a large and uneven tract 
in the short space of time allowed for the work. The Surveyor, 
William Young, submitted apian of the first division of 61 lots in 
April 1739 which was accepted, a copy of which is appended. Then 
he submitted another plan later in the same year which included the 
first second and third divisions. A copy of this plan is also included 
here. In this last plan, the surveyor places first division numbers 7 
.and 8, 150 to 200 rods farther east than in the first plan. No. 6 and 
14 of first division are moved East the same distance in the second 
plan. First division No. 20 is placed in Ranges 3 and 4, instead of 
in 4 and 5 in the first plan. P'irst Division No 56 is in Ranges 2 & 
3 in the Second Plan and wholly in Range 3 by the first plan. No 
58 and 59 of First division are also moved east the wiiole width of 
the lots in the second plan. Surveyor Young makes the entire width 
•of the town 1075 rods and reports the width of each of the six ranges 
183.33 rods. This gives a width for the town of 11 00 rods instead 
of 1075 '^s recorded, and a width for each range of 179^ rods, 'i'he 


restored copy of the second plot or plan containing ist 2d and 3d 
divisions or lots we do not claim as perfect in all respects as the plot 
in the old record book has been thumbed so much by so many people 
in the 156 years since it was made a part of the record as to be 
nearly obliterated. In regard to location of many of the small lots of 
the 2d and 3d divisions the lines are completely effaced. We sub- 
mit it for what it is, without vouching for absolute reliability in the 
reproduction, but hope it may be of interest in tracing the location 
of the three divisions of land to each proprietor. 

It is well to remember that while the " Standard was forty acres " 
in the second and third or final division many of the lots in these 
two divisions contain over 100 acres. The best lands were selected 
in the first division for home lots and they averaged about 100 acres 
each while in the second and third divisions the poorer land was 
measured into lots at a standard of 40 acres to each man, and the 
surveyor and committee put in quantity to make up what was lacking 
in quality. This will explain the phrase "Quantity for Quality" which 
occurs in the discription of each lot in the several divisions. 

It was deemed advisable to continue with the records of the Pro- 
prietors book until the record closed, and then take up the records 
of the town under the Act of Incorporation in 1743. As there was 
a town record and a proprietors record kept for some years, and they 
cannot be as intelligently interpreted together as if given separately. 

Before entering upon the history of the town as found in the 
records following the Act of Incorporation, we offer an interesting 
matter of history as a sandwich between the Proprietors Records 
and the Town Records. 



Used by the Scotch Presbyterians of Pclhain. 

The Scotch Presbyterians who settled the town of Pelham brought 
with them all the stern orthodoxy of the Presbyterian church of 
Scotland. They insisted for years upon a rigid inquiry and investi- 
gation into the antecedants of all who applied for admission as 
partners or settlers w-ithin their borders and for many years required 
that those who came "should be such as were Inhabitants of the King- 
dom of Ireland, or their Decendants, being Protestants, and none to be 
admitted but such as bring good and undeniable credentials or certif- 
icates of their being persons of good conversation and of the Pres- 
byterian persuasion as used in the Church of Scotland and conform 
to ye Decepline thereof." They adhered to the creed, the doctrines 
and the government, and discipline of the Scotch Presbyterian church 
to the letter, and brought with them all the church customs and 
practices that were prevalent in Scotland, and among the Scotch who 
had made their homes in the North of Ireland for many years previous 
to coming to Massachusetts. There had been no falling away from 
the true faith or the observances of the church, — but on the contrary 
there was the same rigid observance and requirement, the same faith- 
ful performance of all and every rule of church government as was 
required in the old country. 


All this being true it is no matter of surprise that they continued 
to guard admission to the town itself by rigid safe guards, and to the 
communion table by the use of the Token, — the visable symbol of 
the faithful and devout communicant, which was a time honored 
custom in Scotland and one they adhered to in Ireland, and one they 
did not forget in their new home. 

The use of the Token is of ancient origin and they have been 
employed for many different purposes. The Token as used by the 
church dates back to the Reformation and beyond and was employed 
by the church in Scotland before 1600 as is shown by ancient church 
records. Many different metals and substances have been employed; 
lead or pewter being perhaps the more common, and the shape and 
style of Tokens much varied ; some were oval, some round, others 
square or oblong, and they had various marks, words, mottoes or 
figures stamped upon them, and sometimes a date. 

The term Tokens and tickets were substantially the same, and the 
latter term was often used in referring to the use of the Token. 
Communion Tokens is more expressive of the purpose for which they 
were used, or better still, Tokens of admission to the Lord's Table. 
In Scotland on the Saturday before the communion, or on the day of 
examination, the minister in person, the clerk, or some of the elders 
specially appointed for the work, distributed the Tokens to all present 
who were entitled to them, and none were admitted to the communion 
table on the Sunday following except such as had a Token. 

In some instances the church doors were guarded and none were 
admitted save those who had a Token of lead as a guarantee of their 
right of entrance. 

It was considered disreputable for members to absent themselves 
from the Lord's Table, and members who were unable to be present 
on the Saturday previous, when the Tokens were distributed, would 
sometimes try to obtain one through some friend who was present at 
the distribution, or try to pass with another's ticket or Token. If the 
deception became known the offender was punished. Sometimes 
counterfeit tokens, or pieces of money were dropped in the hand of 
the minister or elder when collecting the Tokens at the close of the 
service. Persons detected in such sacreligious deception were pun- 
ished by the church in a manner that prevented a repetition of the 



It was this time honored custom that the settlers of Pelham 
brought with them and which was observed for a long time probably 
as long as the strict Presbyterian creed and discipline were adhered 
to, or until the change to Congregational form of church government. 
The Tokens used by the Scotch Presbyterians of Pelham were made 
of lead, of the size in the engraving, which was made from a photo- 
graph of real genuine Tokens used at Pelham. They were distributed 
at the preparatory lecture, before the day of communion, and they 
were collected at the close of the communion service and kept in a 
bag made for their reception. That they were much used is indicated 
by the rounded corners and other marks of use and age. 

The letters P. P. in relief upon the bits of lead were understood to 
stand for Pelham Presbyterian. They are said to have been used 
wherever the Presbyterian church was established in the United 
States. They were in use at Londonderry, N. H. and llie device 
adopted there was L. P. signifying Londonderry Presbyterian ; also 
at Chelsea and Sutton. It is also stated that a church in Boston 
used the Token until recent years. 

The Tokens from which the accompanying engraving was made 
are a small remnant of those used at Pelham, and are probably the 
only two in existence within the town. 

Alice Morse Earle in her valuable book on '' The Sabbath in 
Puritan New England " attributes the introduction of the Token in 
Pelham to Stephen Burroughs. She says: "The notorious thief and 
forger Rev. Stephen Burroughs, that remarkable rogue, organized and 
introduced to his parishoners the custom of giving during the month 
a metal check to real worthy and truly virtuous church members, on 
presentation of which check the bearer was entitled to partake of 
the communion." 

She describes the Token, or "check" as she terms it as follows: 
"Many of the thin chips called Presbyterian checks are still in 
existence. They are oblong discs of pewter about one inch and a 
half long bearing the initials P. P." Doubtless Stephen Burroughs, 
— the smart active boy of nineteen summers did many wicked things, 
was a sacriligious wretch perhaps, but to attribute the introduction 
of the Token to the staid Presbyterians of Pelham, during his 
services as " supplyer " for barely twenty Sabbaths in the spiing and 
summer of 1784 is highly presumptuous and improbable. That 
Burroughs could "organize and introduce" to these Scotch people 


any new church custom while Rev. Robert Abercombie, a graduate 
of Edinburgh University and a former pastor was still living in the 
town could not be accepted as possible if there was no authenticated 
records of the use of the Token in the churches for centuries 
previous to the appearance of the wily Burroughs in Pelham, and 
showing that it was in use in Scotland before the ancestors of the 
people living in Pelham had migrated to the north of Ireland. It is 
much more reasonable to suppose these people continued a custom 
in use in the Presbyterian church to which they belonged long before 
they settled Pelham. 

We quote once again from the "Sabbath in Puritan New England" 
to show why the Tokens of the Pelham Presbyterians are not common 
in the old town to-day : "A clergyman of the Pelham church gave to 
many of his friends these Presbyterians checks, which he had found 
among the disused and valueless church properties and the little 
relics have been carefully preserved." This quotation is generally 
accepted as substantially true, but does not convey any good reason 
why any clergyman going out from his labors at Pelham should 
assume that any church property that had come down from the 
time of the first settlers in 1738 were valueless, because not in use. 
Many Presbyterians in New England to-day may never have seen or 
even heard of the conniiunion Token, because the use of it has been 
abandoned save in exceptional instances. 

Robert Shiells in his " Story of the Token " describes the manner 
of distributing the Tokens in the churches in Scotland, at the close 
of Thursday's services, and the "lifting" or gathering them in while 
the communicants were seated at the sacrimental table. " Sometimes 
they were distributed on Fast days, when the people were dismissed 
and the minister and elders stood in front of the pulpit. As the 
members filed past, those who were in good standing and worthy to 
communicate were handed a small piece of metal known as a 

In some churches an annual list was made up of those who were 
to be refused Tokens, but they were not those who were really liable 
to excommunication. Of the solemnity and importance attached to 
the distribution of the Tokens, Shiells quotes the words of Rev. 
George Gillespie, minister of Strathmiglo, Scotland, who said, " He 
never gave a Token of admission to the Lord's supper without a 
trembling hand ancl a throbbing heart," 


The manufacture of the lead Tokens was easy and simple. They 
were either cast in a mould or struck up with a die in just the same 
manner coins were formerly made. The keeping up of the needful 
supply of Tokens devolved upon the minister; and sometimes when 
a new minister was ordained or installed over a church the mould in 
which the Tokens were cast was turned over to the new pastor. 

In the Story of the Token, already referred to the author refers to 
the general use of the Token in Scotland and gives many interesting 
incidents in connection with their use. "In 1590 the sessions of 
St. Andrews Edenburgh paid for the Token-moulds and 2000 Tokens." 
" At Galston in 1634 a man had to make public repentance and pay 
a fine of ten shillings for giving away his Token." "At Mauchline 
in 177 I a young lad going forward to his first communion, excited 
and oblivious of minor matters handed the elder a sixpence. This 
was a heinous offence. The boy was called before the session, when 
he expressed great sorrow, but this did not save him from being for- 
mally rebuked for his sacriligious heedlessness and admonished to be 
more careful in future." 

In 1727 the following entry occurs in the church book of Ettrick, 
Selkirkshire, Scotland. " The session met to distribute Tokens but 
finding that a horserace was to come off before communion Sabbath, 
forbade any member to attend and decided to hold over the Tokens 
until after the race." The collection of Tokens has become a popu- 
lar fad in Scotland, and in the United States there are collectors 
who are engaged in gathering them. Mr. John Reid, 13 Wellmeadow 
Blairgowrie, Scotland, is said to have upwards of 5000 Tokens in 
his collection. 

We will close this extended notice of the Token and its use in 
Scotland and in Pelham by what seems to us a more probable theory 
of its introduction and use among the Presbyterians of Pelham than 
that of Alice Morse Earle. Rev. Robert Abercrombie has already 
been mentioned in this connection and it is proper to state further 
that he was the first settled minister of the town of Pelham. A 
Scotchman by birth and education, he commenced his labors among 
the people of Pelham in 1742 and was ordained August 30, 1744. 
The meeting house was not completed at that time and the church 
probably not fully organized in all respects until then, so that it 
seems fair to suppose that Rev. Mr. Abercrombie himself might have 
been the one to decide what device should be upon the 'Poken for 


use in Pelham and see to procuring the moulds for casting them, as 
that duty was laid upon pastors by custom in Scotland as Mr. Aber- 
cromlDie very well knew, and were the records of the Presbyterian 
church in Pelham accessible they would quite probably disclose the 
circumstances of the adoption of the Token. To show the standing 
and acknowledged ability of Mr. Abercombie and his influence among 
the Presbyterians of New England we quote from Sprague's Annals of 
the American Pulpit Vol. Ill, page i6 of the Historical Introduction : 
" Notwithstanding Presbyterianism has never prevailed extensively 
in New England, it has had a distinct and independent existence there 
from a very early period. The French church of Boston, which was 
formed of Huguenots in or about the year 1687 was the first church 
organized on a Presbyterian basis ; but it was continued no longer 
than while their public worship was conducted in the French 

The first Presbyterian organization in New England of any perma- 
nence dated to about the year 17 18 when a large number of Presby- 
terians with four ministers imigrated to this country from the North 
of Ireland. For sometime in cases of difficulty the ministers and 
elders were wont to assemble informally, and hold what might be 
called pro re nata meetings ; and occasionally when they were unable 
to reach a satisfactory result, they asked advice of the Synod of 

This state of things continued till the year 1745 when the ministers 
resolved as preparatory to the step they were about to take, to observe 
in connection with their congregations, the third Wednesday of 
March as a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer. 

On the i6th of April following the Rev. Messrs. John Moorhead of 
Boston, David McGregorie of Londonderry, N. H., Robert Abercrom- 
bie of Pelham, with Messrs. James McKeon, Alexander Conkey and 
James Hughes, met at Londonderry and being satisfied as to the 
Divine Warrant, with dependence upon God for counsel and assist- 
ance, they, by prayer, constituted themselves into a Presbyter)^ to 
act, so far as their present circumstances will permit them, according 
to Word of God and the constitution of the Presbyterian church of 
Scotland, agreeing to that perfect rule. This body was called "The 
Boston Presbytery " and met according to adjournment in that town 
on the 13th of August, 1745." 


It was while the Proprietors of I.isburn were absorbed with the 
great business of settling a first minister that the legislative action 
took place under which the people organized the plantation or settle- 
ment as a town and began their career as the eleventh town organ- 
ization west of Worcester County. 

The several acts of the General Court, — the call for the first town 
meeting, and the doings of the meeting follow. 

The selection of the name Pelham for the town doubtless came 
from the fact that Lord Pelham was travelling in this country at the 
time. It has been said that Lord Pelham, pleased to learn that a 
town had selected his name to be placed in the act of incorporation, 
signified his pleasure by sending from England a bell for the meeting 
house. If one was sent it never arrived in Pelham. The reason 
why the bell did not reach its distination, it has been said, was 
caused by the fact that no money was forthcoming to pay the freight 
charges on its arrival in Boston, and that after waiting in vain for 
payment on the freight bill the bell was sold to the Old South 
Church. If Lord Pelham was so kind and thoughtful as to order a 
bell sent over from England it was very unfortunate that he did not 
open his purse and pay for its free delivery in Ijoston, if not in 

It is doubtful about a bell being sent at all, but as the pleasant 
story has been told many times in connection with the naming of the 
town it can do little harm to give it a place here. Unless there was 
some good and sufficient reason, such as the hope of getting a bell 
or some other valuable consideration, we fail to understand why the 
very pleasant sounding name of Lisburn or New Lisburn, first selected 
for the name of the settlement was discarded to honor Lord Pelham. 
No one, so far as we are advised has ever been able to give a reason 
why these people first gave the name Lisburn or New Lisburn to 
their new settlement on the hills of Eastern Hampshire so we ofifer 
what seems to be a fairly good supposition, to say the least. Down 
on the extreme southern border of County Antrim Ireland, on the 
banks of the river Lagan is located the town of Lisburn, celebrated 
for its manufacture of damasks and fine linen goods, said to have 


been established there by a settlement of Hugeuenots after the Revo- 
cation of the Edict of Nantes. Perhaps some of the settlers of 
Pelham came from Lisburn and suggested the name for the new 
plantation. Certainly those people who came to Massachusetts in 
17 18, brought with them the "little wheel " for spinning Hax and 
this alone would indicate that they were well acquainted with this 
center of linefl manufacture, if they were not actual residents of Lis- 
burn. The wives and daughters of the early settlers of Pelham were 
noted as skillful spinners of flax and weavers of linen. 

Anno Regne Regis Georgie Seccondo Decimo Sexto 

An act for erecting a tract of Land Commonly Called New Lisborn Lying 
in ye County of Hampshire into a Township by ye Name of Peliiam. 

Whereas there are a Considerable Number of Families Settled on a tract 
of Land Commonly called New Lisburn Lying in the County of Hampshire 
Who have Represented to this Court that they labour under great Difficul- 
ties By reason of their not being incorporated into a Township Be it there- 
fore Enacted by the Gov nr Council & House of Representatives that the 
Lands aforesaid be and hereby are Erected into a Seperate and Distinct 
township by the Name of Pelham — the Bounds Whereof to be as Follows 
Viz — Bounding Easterly on a tract of Land Commonly Called Ouabin 
granted to a Number of Canada & Narragansett Soldiers Southerly on a 
Lot of Equivalent Land so Called belonging to Rev Mr Edwards & Mrs 
Rebecca Hauley — Westerly on ye East Bounds of the Town of Hadley & 
Northerly partly on a New Township Commonly called Roadtown and 
Partly on a New Township Commonly Called New .Salem & that ye Inhab- 
itants on ye Land aforesaid be and hereby are vested with all ye Power 
Priviliges & Immunities Which ye Inhabitons of other towns within this 
Province are or by Law ought to be vested with — Deer: 28, — 1742 — This 
Bill having Been Read three sev 1 times in Ye House of Representatives — 
Pasedtobe Enacted J Gushing Speaker. 

Deer. : 28 : 1742 This Bill having been read three several times in Council 
— Pased to be Enacted J Willard' Sec'ry 

Jan.y 15, 1742 By the Governor. — I consent to ye Enacting of this Bill — 

William Shirley 
Copy: Examined Pr J Willard Sec'ry 

In Ye House of Representativs April i 1743 ordered that Mr 
Robert Peibles one of Ye Principal Inhabetans of the New Town- 
ship Lately erected Named Pelham in the County of Hampshire be 
& hereby is fully authorized & impowered upon due Publication or 
Notice Given to Assemble the Inhabitons of said Town to Choose 


all town officers who shall stand till ye anniversary Meeting in March 

Sent up for Concurrence. F Gushing Speaker 

In Council April ist 1743 — Read & Concurid, J Willard Sec'try 

Consented to W Shirly 
Copy Examined pr J Willard Sec'ty 

Province of Massachusetts Bay. — Whereas the Generall Court or 
assembly of s'd Province by their order of the first of April Current 
have authorized and empowered the subscriber hereoff (upon due 
notice or publication given) to assemble the Inhabitants of the town 
of Pelham in the County of Hampshire to choose all town officers 
who shall stand till the anniversary meeting in March next. 

Pursuant thereto these are therfore to Warn and Notifie the free- 
holders and other inhabitants of s'd town qualified by law to vote in 
Town affairs that they assemble themselves at the Meeting House in 
s'd Pelham on Tuesday the Nineteenth day of April current at nine 
of the Clock in the forenoon for the choosing Town officers for s'd 
town as aforesaid. 

Dated at Pelham this ninth day of April in the sixteenth year of 
His Majestys Reighn 
Annoy Dom'ni 1743 Robert Peibols 

Pelham April 9 1743 
Then I Posted up a Notification for colling a Town Meeting in 
Pelham by fixing it on the side of the Meeting House (by the door) 
in s'd Pelham of the which Notification the within is a true copy. 

As Attest Robert Peibols. 

The meeting to organize under the act of incorporation was held 
according to the above notification. The act incorporating the town 
was passed by the General Court on the 28 of Dec 1752, and became 
a law by the addition of the Governor's Signature on the 15th of 
January 1743. At that time there were only the towns of Spring- 
field, Northampton, Hadley, Hatfield, Northfield, Sunderland, lirim- 
field. Westfield, Sheffield and Stockbridge in the state west of Wor- 
cester County that were incorporated, Pelham making the eleventh. 


From 1743 to 1763- 

Petition to General Court to Legalize Acts of Toicn Officers in 1753. — 
Invoices Given In for Taxation in ij6o. — T/ie Town Presented 
at Court in 1762 for " Voluntarily Omitting and Neglecting to 
Provide Themselves with a Learned and Able Orthodox Minis- 
ter. — Illegal Killing of Deer in IJ63, and Penalty Therefor. 

Record of First Town Meeting Under the Act of Incorpo- 
ration, Held xA,pril ig, 1743. 

Officers chosen to stand to ye anniversary meeting in March, 1744: 

Selectmen — Alexander Conky, Robert Pebils, John Alexander, 
John Gray, Robert Lotheridge. 

Town Clerk — William Gray. 

Town Treasurer — John Stinson. 

Surveyors — James Taylor, John Conkey, John Johnson, Ephriam 

Tythingmen — Andrew Maklem, James ]McConel. 

Constables — George Cowan, James Hood. 

Fence Viewers — Thomas Hamilton, Alexander Tower. 

Hogreeves — William Conky, John Blair. 

Assessors — William Gray, Samuel Gray, & William Croset. 

Officers to Prosecute ye Law Respecting Killing Deer — Robert 
Maklem, John Lucore. 

Officers to Prosecute ye Law about Burning of Woods — John Ham- 
ilton, Hugh Gray. 

At a Leguall town meeting in Pelham April ye 19th, 1743 John 
Stoddard Esq'r Being first Chosen Moderator the town Made choice 
of ye Several Persons above Named to ye Several offices to Which 
Their Names are Respectively Affixed. 

test John Stoddard, Moderator. 

Pelham April ye 19 1743. 


Then all ye Persons Named in ye above List took ye oaths to their 
Respective offices Belonging Except the Selectmen and John Lucore 
Cor'" John Stoddard Pac"" Justice. 

The town was now fully organized under the act of incorporation 
and a full board of town officers elected. The meeting house was 
far enough advanced towards completion so that it might be, and in 
fact was in use for preaching the gospel, and now the business which 
the settlers placed before the almost everything else was in order, 
viz. — 

The Settling of the First Minister. 

Matthew Gray had been dispatched to Londonderry, N. H. with a 
call to Rev. Mr. Johnson to settle in Pelham, but for some unexplained 
reason the call was not accepted and the people were obliged to look 

It was the first of September, 1741 that Matthew Gray bore the 
call to Rev. Mr. Johnson, and not until May 11, 1742 that the vote 
was taken " to interceed with Rev. Robert Abercrombie be our sup- 
player as far as he can for this summer." The peculiar form of the 
vote passed would indicate that I\Ir. Abercrombie had some engage- 
ments which would prevent his preaching at Pelham continuously, but 
they hoped by judicious intercession he might be induced to preach 
for them a portion of the time. Owing to the importance of the busi- 
ness of settling the first minister in the town and the singularly inter- 
esting history of the pastorate of Rev. Robert Abercrombie over the 
church at Pelham, it has been thought advisable to place all matters 
pertaining to his settlement, pastorate and dismissal, as well as inci- 
dents of his life in the town after his retirement from the ministry, in 
a separate chapter, where all such matters of fact and record could 
be perused more in detail, and separate from other ordinary town 
business and history. Space has been set apart for that purpose and 
the reader is referred to it. 

Annual Town Meeting, March 5, 1743-4. 

First Was Chosen John Stinson Moderator. 

Selectmen — Ephriam Cowan, John Stinson, George Cowan, Mat- 
thew Gray and John Clark. 


Town Clerk — William Gray. 

Assessors — James Conky, John Hamilton, Alexander Tower, 

Constables — John Johnson, Thomas Hamilton. 

Town Treasurer — John Stinson. 

Surveyors of High Ways — Patrick Pebels, Alexander Tower, Wil- 
liam Conky, Robert Lotheridge. 

Tything men — Thomas Hamilton, James Alexander. 

Fence Viewers — John Conky & Samuel Gray. 

Hog Reveevs — Hugh Gray & Robert Maklem. 

Committee to Run Lines with Neighboring Towns — Robert Loth- 
eridge, Sam" Gray, James Alexander. 

Ye meeting is adjourned for two hours to swear ye Officers and to 
Dismiss one Constable and Chuse another. 

John Stinson, Moderator. 

Meeting May 26, 1743. 

Voted Col Timothy Dwight is chosen Moderator. 

Voted there be a Committee Chosen to Provide Sermon till such 
Times as We can orderly Proceed to ye Calling of a Minister. 

Voted y't John Stinson, John Johnson and James Conky be a 
Committee to Provide Sermon. 

Voted that said com'ttee is to Invite such Person or Persons as 
they think Proper to be Improved m Said Service. 

Voted that there be a Committee Chosen to Invite three ordained 
Neighboring Ministers to Keep a Day of fasting and Prayer With us 
and to consult With ye same whome we Shall Call to be our Minister. 

Voted that Ephriam Cowan, Samuel Gray & Robert Pebels be a 
Committee to invite three Ministers to Keep a Day of fasting and 
prayer with us. 

Voted y't there Be a Committee Chosen to Provide Glass to Gleas 
the Meeting House and to Build a Pulpit and to finish ye under Pin- 
ning of ye Meeting house at ye Charge of ye town and said \\'ork to 
be Done Before Winter. 

Voted y't ye select Men to Wite Robert Pebels, Alexander Conky, 
John Alexander, John Gray & Robert Lotheridge Be a Committee to 
Provide ye Glass and Glasing of ye Meeting house and to Build a 
Pulpit & under Pine y'e s'* House at y'e charge of the 'Pown. 

Voted that y'e aforesaid Committee for Bulding a Pulpit is to 
Buld a Pulpit for Dignitee Like unto haddley third Precinct. 


Voted that there be y'e Sume of Eighty four Pounds old tenor 
Expended on High Ways this year to Be Rased on y'e town Each 
man an Inhabitant in this is to have Liberty to Do three Days Work 
at High Ways this year y"t May be Levied by a Reat Made By y'e 
Pols & Estates. 

Voted that there be allowed to each Man Eight Shillings per Day 
& a team of four Cattle Eight Shillings per Day for a full Day Work. 

Voted that Each Surveyor of High Ways is to take Notice how 
Much any Person Conies Short Eather by Himself or his tame of 
Doing a Reasonable Days work & to Note down in his Count how 
much any Person so falls Short &: that such Person Be abated so 
much of the aforesaid Prices. 

Voted y't y'e select Men are Directed to Provide Sutable Cloath 
& have it Made up to Covire Coffins \A'ith in Buring of our Dead at 
the charge of y'e town. 

Voted y't y'e Committee appointed to Invite three of Neighboring 
Ordained Ministers to assist us at a Day of fasting and Prayer to 
Seek to God for Direction in y'e Choice of a Minister &: to Desire ye 
Ministers to Attend on ye Last tusday of June Nixt at ye Meeting 
house abovesaid — all y'e above s' Articles \^'ere Voted Affirmatively 
— test 

Timothy Dwight Moderator. 

There seems to have been some hitch in the committee chosen to 
" invite the three neighboring ordained ministers" to assist in the 
proposed day of fasting and prayer and a warrant was issued for a 
town meeting, containing the following articles only. 


First to See if or Not they will adjourn ye fast Day that Was appointed— 
till longer time. 

2'-'' to See if or Not they will ye Committee appointed for that Purpose to 
appoint ye Day. 

Hereof fail not etc — 

AIeetixo June 21, 1743. 

At a Leguall town In Pelham June ye 21st 1743. — at said meeting 
John Stinson was Chosen Moderator. 

Voted y't ye Day appointed in Our Meeting May ye 26th for fast- 
ing & Prayer is adjourned to Longer time. 


Voted that ye Committee appointed for Inviting INIinisters to Keep 
ye fast that they are to appoint ye time when they Can have it Done 
With the Best C'onveney 

John Stinsox Moderator. 

Annual Meeting March 4, 1744-5 

Then meet on said Day and was Chosen as Follows 

Matthew Gray Moderator 

Selectmen. — Alexander Conky, Robert Pebels. John Gray, James 
McCulloch, Thos Dick. 

Town Clerk.— William Gray 

Constables. — Alexander McCulloch & James Gilmore. 

Assessors. — William Gray, William Crossett, Thos Dick. 

Town Treasurer. — James Conky 

Surveyors of High Ways. — John Clark, James Allexander, Robert 
Meklem, Nathaniel Gray, John Hamilton, John Stinson. 

Tything men. — William Conky & John Blaire 

Hog Rives. — James Taylor & Samuel Gray. 

Meeting adjourned to April 9th 1745 when a number of roads were 
consented to by owners of lands through which they passed and 
among them it was " Voted that ye Road laid out From ye North 
East Corner of Mr Abercrombies lot to ye Meeting house as it is 
marked - - - Consent to ye above vote 

R. Abercrombie — " 

"Voted that ye Road Laid out From Hadley line to ye south end 
of Robert Lotheridge' Barn as it is Marked & from thence By ye 
south end of s''' Lotheridges Rey field as ye Road Now Goes & so to 
ye Range Road Betwixt s"' Lotheridges & Ephriam Cowan, said Road 
is -to be two Rods in width. — 

Consented to by Andrew Meklem, James Conky, John Crawford, 
Robert Lotheridge." 

The above record must have been that of the laying out of the 
present road from Amherst line east to Home lot No. 29, drawn by 
Robert Lotheridge, or about two miles from Amherst line. It then 
ran north until it joined the Second Range road between Lot No. 29 
and Lot No. 42, the latter owned by Ephriam Cowan. The second 
range road is the one that ran due east, up over the hill, past the 
Collins Brailey farm and came out at the Cross road about half a 


mile south of Pelham center, and thence to the east line of the town. 
The Collins Brailey farm is now owned by Stephen Rhoads. 

It is supposed that the first bridle path to East Hadley followed 
the middle range as far as possible down through the Valley and 
over the side of the mountain to Amherst, keeping on the north side 
of what is now known as Amethyst Brook. 

Some articles from Warrant for a town meeting dated April 26, 

" First to see How Many Days Works Each Pole will Work at y"e High- 
ways this Present year. 

2'y To see what the Town will do concerning a scole for this Present year 

3'y To See if ye town Will alowe anything for Killing Rattle Snaks for 
Two Months thats April & May. 

4'-'' To see if y"e town Will alow ye Constables to post up notifications to 
Warn town Meetings For y'e futter — 

5''' To See if y'e town Will Clean ye Buring ground & fence y'e Same & 
Clean about the Meeting house. 

Meeting April 36, 1744. 

Then Meet on ye said Day & Was Chosen Sam" Gray Moderator. 

i^' Voted that Each Pole work four Days on ye High ways 

2'^ Voted that their be a Scole Keept in town For y'e Space of 
two Months one Month at ye Dwelling house of Ephriam Cowan and 
one Month at ye Dwelling house of William Gray' — 

3'^' Voted that ye Constables Post up ye \\'arnings for town Meet- 
ings for ye futur. 

4'^' Voted that ye Collectors & ye Constables from ye Beginning 
have four pound yearly a Cording to ye old tenor. 

5'^ Voted that there be one Acer of land Fenced with a good 
Stone wall and also that Robert Pebels, Samuel Gray & Robert Loth- 
eridge over See ye Bulding of ye s'^ Wall at their own Charge. — 

6'^ Voted Their be two men Chosen to build ye said Wall. 

This meeting is adjourned to ye 8th Day of May Nixt at 4 of ye 
Clock in ye After Noon to Consider ye voted of fencing ye buring 

At meeting on adjournment from April ye 26 1744 to May ye 8th. 
Then Meet to Consider of ye Method of fencing ye Buring place & 
was voted y"" ye tifth vote is Recald & it is voted y' ye Sixth vote is 
Recald — Also 


Voted y' y'e Baring Place be fenced With Good tive Real fence 
ye Reals ten feet Long & twelve Lengths to each Quarter, also 

Voted to agree with a Sutable Person to fence ye s"* Buring Place — 
Also it is agreed y' John Conky do ye above s' fence & he is to 
have five pounds Ten Shillings Reward for said work aCording to ye 
old tenor. — Also voted that James Gilmore sen John Stinson Sz 
Sam" Gray be a Committee to see that the above s' fence be Suffi- 
ciently Done by ye first Day of Ocf Nixt. 

Sam'l Gray Moderator. 

In a warrant for a town meeting dated May 14, 1745, are these 
articles, — the meeting being called at seven o'clock in the forenoon. 

To see whats Proper to be Done about ye Gleass of ye Meeting 
house That Was Sued for. 

To see what Method will be taken in Building a Pound. (No 
action taken concerning the Pound at this meeting.) 

Voted that James McColloch & Robert Lotheridge be a Commit- 
tee to go to Major Williams to see to stop ye action y' he Sued for of 
ye Meeting house Gleass 

James McColloch Moderator. 

The obvious reason for calling a town meeting at seven o'clock in 
the morning was to take action in season to stop an impending law- 
suit which Major Williams instituted to recover pay for glass used in 
building the meeting house. 

Annual Meeting March 3, 1745-6. 

Then Meet on s' Day & Was Chosen 

George Cowan Moderator 

Selectmen — Alexander Conky, James McCulloch, i\.dam Petteson, 
John Clark, Robert Meklem. 

Town Clerk — John Dick 

Assessors — William Gray ye 3'', William Crossett, John Dick. 

Constables — Thomas Dick, Andrew Meklem 

Treasurer — James Conky 

Surveyors — Edward Selfridge, Matthew Gray, John Stinson, John 
Wason, Thomas Hamilton & William Crossett ■ 

Tythingmen — John Conky, James Hood 

Hog Rives — Allexander Conky Jun, David Thomas. 

Fence Viewers — William Conkey, James Gilmore Jun. 

84 history ov pelham, mass. 

Meeting April 15, 1746. 

The principal business of tliis meeting was presentation of Debt 
and Credit, and voting the amounts due to each man to whom the 
town was indebted for services. 

" Meet on Said Day and was Chosen 
William Gray, Moderator. 

First Voted that Samuel Gray be allowed one Pound sixteen shil- 
ling old tenor for Carring a Notification to Roadtown & Salem 
2'^' Voted Robert Pebels one Pound twelve shilling 
3'*' Voted Samuel Thornton one Pound twelve shilling 
4'*' Voted William Gray three Pound four shilling 
5'^' Voted John Gray four Pound thirteen shilling 
6''' Voted Alexander Conky, James McCulloch, & John Gray each 
one Pound ten shilling 

7 '5 Voted William Conky fifteen shilling 
8'^ Voted James McColloch ten shilling 
9'-' Voted James Gilmore one pound 
10'- Voted John Stinson one pound 
ii'> Voted John Conky one pound 

12'*' Voted That William Young be alowed one Pound old tenor 
for Running the North line if Demanded 
13'- Voted John Stinson & John Gray one Pound 
i4'>' Voted James Allexander eight shilling 

15'*' Voted John Stinson one Pound Eleven shilling overpaid by 

1 6'^' Voted John Conky two Pound for taking Care of ye Meeting 
17'*' Voted William Crosset Sixteen shilling 
18'^' Voted Negatively y' Tho' Dick' order be Returned 
19'* Voted Thomas Dick eight shilling 
Ye vets from ye first to the Nineteenth is Debt & Credit allowed 
to the Persons Named." 

Voted that ye Delinquents Work out ye Remainder of their Work 
at ye Pound & that there Be Men Brought from Several Quarters to 
Work & be alowed as much as att ye Roads Work — 

Voted y' Thomas Dick be oversier to have ye remainder of ye 
Work Don at ye Pound — 

Voted that there be five Pound Raised to Buy a town Book for ye 
use of ye town. 

town meeting records. 85 

Annual Meeting March 2, 1746-7. 

Then meet on said Day and was Chosen Thomas Dick Moderator 

Town Clerk — John Dick 

Treasurer — James Conky 

Selectmen — George Cowan, William Gray 3'', James Thornton, 
James McConel, Ephriam Cowan. 

Assessors — William Crosset, John Dick, & James Thornton. 

Constable — For the East End, Robert Meklem 

Constable — For the West End, Edward Selfridge 

Surveyors — For the West End, James McColloch, John Blair & 
John Gray. 

Surveyors — For the East End, John Hamilton, John Pebels eS: John 

Tything Men — For the East End, Robert McKee 

Tything Men — For the \\'est End. John Savige 

Fence Viewer — For the West End, John Stinson 
■ Fence Viewer — For the East End, John Conky 

Hogs Reve — For the East End, James Taylor 

Hogs Reve — For the West End, Thomas Johnson 

Meeting March 19, 1746-7. 

"Voted that James Thornton, Matthew Gray, Patrick Pebels & 
Thomas Johnson is to Oversee the Finishmg ye Pound. 

Voted also that Each Man that Refuses to Work shall Pay ten 
Shilling for every Day Deficit. 

Voted that there be a Reat Made on ye Pole of ten Shilling for 
each Pole that Will Not Work." 

James Thornton, Moderator. 

In April of the previous year Thomas Dick was chosen to oversee 
the work of finishing the pound, but it had not been done, and now 
four men were chosen to oversee work on the pound, and measures 
were adopted to compel men to work. 

Annual Meeting March 7, 1747-8. 

Then Meet on said Day and then was Chosen James Thornton 

Selectmen — James Thornton, George Cowan, Ephriam Cowan, 
James McConel & John Clark 


Town Clerk — John Dick 

Treasurer — James Conky 

Constable for West End — William Gray ye 3' 

Constable for East End — William Gilmore 

Assessors — John Dick, William Gray Jnn, James Thornton & 
Thomas Dick. 

Surveyors — Robert King, Tho' Hamilton, aDam Petteson, John 
Stinson, John Pebels 

Tythingman for the West End — Allexander Tower, James Dunlap 

Tythingman for the East End — Patrick Pebels, John Hamilton, 
Thomas Cochran 

Fence Viewer for the West End — John Blair. 

Fence Viewer for the East End — John Conky. 

Field Driver for West End — John Johnson. 

Voted y' John Johnson be no field Driver. 

Hogs Rive for West End — James Gilmore. 

Hogs Rive for East End — William Linse}-. 

Protest — We the Subscribers Enter our Protest against ye unlaw- 
ful Proceedings of this Meeting. Robert Pebels, 

Patrick Pebels. 

We the subscribers enter our Protest against ye Proceedings of 
this Meeting. Thomas Cochran, 

John Hamilton, 
James Taylor. 
There was a town meeting April 12, 1748, and the warrant called 
upon the town to "Bring in their Debt and Credit" also To see How 
Many Days ye town will Work at ye Roads this Year 

To see Wither the Hogs Will Run In ye Commons or be Sutt up. 
Voted y' Each Pole Work two Day ye Roads this year 
Voted y' ye hogs is to Run at learge this year 

James Thornton Moderator. 

Meeling August ii, 1748. 

Two Articles in Warrant 

i" To see if the town will be Willing to lett Every .Man Have Powder out 
of the'town Stock as fare as Every Man Paid. 

2'-^ to see if the town Will be Willing to Have a Rate made to Bay a 
Burioii Cloth for ve of ve town. 


Voted that every Man Have Powder & Lead as fare as they Have 
Paid >S: have itt out of ye Present town Stock. 

Voted that there be a Buring Cloth bought, also voted there be- 
twenty pound Made in a Rate to buy the same. 

William Gray i'' Moderator. 

Annual Meeiing March 6, 1748-9. 

Then meet on said day and was chosen Thomas Dick Moderator 

Town Clerk, — John Dick 

Treasurer, — James Conky 

Selectmen, — Thomas Dick, John Fergerson, John Johnson, John, 
Hunter, John Dick. 

Assessors, — John Fergerson. Thomas Dick and John Hunter. 

Constable for ye East end — John Clark. 

Constable for ye West end — Ephraim Cowan. 

Tythingman for ye West end — John Edeger. 

Tythingman for ye East end — John Hamilton. 

Surveyors for ye East end — William Conky George Cowan William 
Crosett James Gilmore 

Surveyors for 3^e West end — William Fergerson Allexander Tonrer 
James McConel. 

Fence Viewer for ye West end — John Stinson. 

Fence Viewer for ye East end — John Conky. 

Hog Rives — Edward Selfidge and John Conky. 

Meeting adjourned to First day of April next at nine of the Clock 
in the forenoon. 

Annual Meeting March 5, 1749-50. 

Then meet on said day and was Chosen James Conky Moderator.. 
Town Clerk — John Dick. 
Treasurer, — George Cowan 

Selectmen, — Ephraim Cowan, James McCoUock, James Conky 
William Crosett and. John Conkey 

Assessors — Thomas Dick William Crosett and James Conky. 
Constable for ye West end — John Lucore 
Constable for ye East end — John Hamilton. 
Tythingman for ye East end — Thomas Cochran 
Tythingman for ye West end — Joseph Rinken 


Surveyors for ye West end — John Crawford Jun John Savige David 
•Cowden and Ephraim Cowan. 

Surveyors for ye East end — ^Adam Johnson, James Gihiiore Andrew 
Meklem and William Gilmore. 

Hoge Rive for ye East end — Daniel Gray 

Hoge Rive for ye West end — Robert McCoIlock 

Fence Viewer for ye West end — Robert Blair. 

Fence Viewer for ye East end — James Taylor. 

This year seems to have been a quiet one among the people, there 
having been but one town meeting from March 5 1750 to March 4 
1 75 1, and that was to bring in the '' Debt and Credit" and settle 
with all that had done work for the town. 

Annual Meeting ]\Iarch 4, 1751. 

Then meet on said Day and then was Chosen William Crosett, 
Moderator — 

Town Clerk — John Dick. 

Treasurer — George Cowan 

Selectmen — Ephraim Cowan James McColloch John Conky James 
-Conkey and William Crosett. 

Assessors — William Crosett, Thomas Dick and James Conky. 

Constable for ye East end George Petteson 

Constable for ye West end Robert King. 

Road Surveyors for ye West end John Savige David Thomas 
John Crawford Jun and Da\'id Cowden. 

Road Surveyors for ye East end Robert Meklem William Conky 
and John Clark 

Tuthingman for ye East end James Taylor. 

Tuthingman for ye West end Edward Selfridge 

Fence Viewer for ye West end John Blair 

Fence Viewer for ye East end John Pebels 

Hog Rives for ye East end James Hamilton 

Hog Rives for ye West end John Johnson 

Voted Negatively that the town refuses to open ye Range Road 
for the Convenency of George Cowan also voted that the town His 
aproven of ye Roads that ye Selectmen Viewed for the Convenancy 
of the Inhabitons of Pelham. 

We ye Subscribers Do Acknowledge our Selves contented to 
establish the Roads when ye Selectmen viewed through our Lands as 


Witness our hands George Cowan Thomas Hamilton Thomas McMul- 
lan Joseph Rinken. — 

We ye Subscribers Inhabitons of Pelham Do Protest against the 
unregular Proceedings at their Annual Meeting March 4"" 1751 — In 
not purging the Meeting and alowing Voters as ye Law Directs, 
Robert Pebels James Taylor John Hunter, Thomas McMuUen Adam 
Petteson Thomas Hamilton John Gray Thomas Dick Edward Selfidge 
John Hamilton 

William Crosett Moderator. 

Meeting April 30, 1751. 

Thomas Dick alowed ^i — Ss for making Rats 
James Conkey alowed 17s — 4d for making Rats 

^ P AT /^ n 1 I each alowed 2s 8d for running Line between 

James McCoUock )- „ n i ^-i • + 

-;, „ , ( Hadley and this town 

John Conky ) ■' 

John Conky alowed 6s — 8d for taking care of Meeting house. 

William Crosett alowed 17 — 4d for running line between Quabin 
and this town. 

Voted that each pole work three Days att the Roads 

Voted that each Delinquent Pole pay 3 shilling lawful money per 

Voted that ye Hogs Run at Large this Present year. 

Voted that there be one acre and a half fenced with stone wall for 
buring yard 

Voted that Each Pole work one Day at ye Buring yeard also voted 
that Each Delinquent Pole pay three shilling lawful money. 

Voted that Cart or Slide & one Pare of Oxen be Equal to one 
Pole for this Present year at the Buring yeard, 

Thomas Dick Moderator. 

Annual Meeting i^L\rch 2, 1752. 

Then meet on said Day and was Chosen \\'illiam Crosett — 

Town Clerk. — John Dick 

Treasurer. — John Hamilton 

Selectmen. — John Savige Patrick Peebils John Johnson John Blair 
Thomas Johnson. 

Assessors. — David Cowden David Thomas Daniel Gray. 


Constables. — Patrick McMullen & James Conky. 
Tythingmen. — John Pebels & Robert Blair. 

Surveyors. — Thomas Cochran Andrew Meklem William Conky 
Hugh Johnson John Savige Allexander McCollock Robert Lotheredge 
Hoge Reevies Jonathan Gray John Lucore. 

Meeting April 8, 1752. 

Meet on said Day and was chosen John Savige Moderator 

First Voted that John Conkey is allowed five shilling and four 
pence for lawful money for taking care of the Meeting house. 

2'>' James Conky is allowed seventeen shilling four pence for mak- 
ing Reats Eight Days and a half 

3'^ Thomas Dick is allow^ed seventeen shilling and four pence 
for making Reats eight days and a half 

4'* William Crosett is allow^ed thirteen shillings for making Reats 
six days and a half. 

5'> Daniel Gray is alowed Eight Shilling for a jorney of his Horse 
to Boston 

6'' Voted that the assessors is alowed to assess forty four pound 
Nine Shilling for ye Support of Gospel for this present year 

7'^ Voted that there is eight Pound alowed for the support of a 
school the Present year 

8'- Voted that there be a Committee chosen to provide a schole 

— Said Committee is John Stinson Robert Lotheridge & Andrew 

9'> Voted y' Each Pole ^^'ork two I)a}-s at ye Roads and one Day 
at ye Buring Yeard 

lo'^' Voted that ye hogs Run at large this Present year 

12'^ Voted that John Starling and Thomas Lowdan is freed from 
there Reats for this Present year 

Jt)HX Savige Moderator. 

Annual Meeting March 5. 1753. 

Then Meet on said Day and was Chosen James Conky Moderator. 
Town Clerk, — John Dick 
Treasurer, — Thomas Dick 

Selectmen, — Patrick Peebels Thomas Johnson John Savige John 
Elair George Cowan 


Assessors, — John Fergerson David Thomas Daniel Gray. 
Constables, — William Crosett for the East End John Blair for the 
West End 

Voted that the old Surveyors stand for the Present year. 

Petition sent to the General Court. 

By reason of the failure to administer the oath to the town officers 
elected in the spring of 1753 it became necessary to apply to the 
General Court to legalize the acts of these men and the following 
petition was sent to Boston by the selectmen of 1753 : 

To his Excellency William Shirley Esq Captain General & Governor 
In Chief & to the Honorable His Majestys Council and House of 
Representatives in General Court assembled Dec 1753. 

The Petition of the Selectmen of the town of Pelham Humbly 
Showeth — That the Said town at their Meeting in March Last for the 
Choice of Town Officers through inadvertancy neglected to Admin- 
ister the oath respecting the Bills of Credit of the other Govern- 
ments unto the Several officers that were then Chosen which causes 
great Difficultys among us — We humbly request your Excellency & 
Honor to enable us to Call a Meeting of Said Town for the choice 
of Officers &: that they may be Qualified according to law or other- 
wise relieve us as in your Wisdom you shall see fit and as in duty 
bound shall ever Pray 

George Cowan 
Patrick Peebles 
John Savige 
John Blair 
Thomas Johnson 

In the House of Representtives Dec. 12, 1753. 

Whereas the town of Pelham in the County of Hampshire when 
they chose their officers to the respective offices in Said Town in 
March Last ojnitted administering to them the oath appointed by 
Law of this Province of the 22' of His Present Majests Reign 
Respecting Bills of Credit of the Neighboring Governments 
appointed to be taken by such ofiicers by Means Whereof the several 
officers in said town are vacant & thereby Great Inconveniences &• 
Difficulties Have arisen to said town which Cannot be Remedied but 
by ye aid & Interposition of this Court — Therefore ordered that 
Eleazer Porter Esq' be directed & Hereby Impowered to Issue His 
Warrant Directed to some Inhabitant of said Town — Requiring him 
to Avarn and give Notice to the Inhabitons of said town as by said 
warrant shall be appointed to make choice of such officers for said 


town as shall be Necessary & acording to Law ought to be chosen 
j-early for transacting the affairs of said Town & the Inhabitons 
Being so Met are Hereby Impowered to Make Choice of Such 
officers and such Officers so Chosen — Having first Taken the oath 
aforesaid & the oaths of their Respective offices Shall have the Like 
Power in their Respective offices as by Law they would have had on 
their being Chosen acording to ye Directions of the Law in the Month 
of March & Qualified as aforesaid 

Sent up for Concurrence 

F Hubbard Speaker 
hi Councel Dec 12 1753 

Read & Concurred Thomas Clarke Dep' Secry 
Consented to William Shirly. 

Hampshire ss March ye Eight one thousand Seven Hundred & fifty four 

To John Savige of Pelham in the County of Hampshire (Porsuant of the 
Within order of the Cireat and General Court) In His Majestys Name you 
are Required to Notifie & Warn all the Freeholders and other Inhabitons 
of said Pelham Qualified to vote in town Meetings to assemble themselves 
together at the Meeting house in said Pelham on the twenty Eight of this 
Month at Nine of the Clock in ye forenoon then & there to Make Choice of 
all Necessary town officers which by Law towns are obliged to Make Choice 
of & Make Return of your Doings thereon to your Inhabitons so assembled. 

Given under My Hand & Seal ye Day and Deate Above said 

Eleazer Porter Justs Coram. 

By Vartue of the Within Warrant I have Warned the Inhabitons of 
Pelham above said to Meet at time & Place alcove mentioned 

Pelham March ye twenty Eight one thousand seven hundred & fifty four 

John Savige. 

Annual Meeting March 28, 1754. 

Then meet on said Day & was chosen 

William Crosett, INIoderator 

Town Clerk,— John Dick. 

Treasurer — Thomas Dick. 

Selectmen — Thomas Hamilton Alexander Torner John Fergerson 
David Thomas William Conkey 

Assessors, — John Fergerson David Thomas Daniel Gray. 

Constables, — John Conkey Robert McCollock 

Surveyors, — Archibald Crosett Patrick McMullen Thomas Hamil- 
ton Alexander Conkey John Blair Thomas Johnson W'" Fergerson 

Hog Rieves, — Allexander McNut Joseph Rinken 

Fence Viewers, — Daniel Gray Robert Blair 

town meeting records. 93 

Meeting, April i6, 1754. 

Allowed six shillings to John Conkey for taking care of the Meet- 
ing house. 

Allowed John Savige and John Blair Ss — Sd for Getting a Preacipe 
from the court to Hold Meetings. 

Voted to Petition the General court for a Help from ye None 
Inhabitons for finishing ye Meeting house 

Voted that each Delinquent Pole pay two shilling 

" Voted that William Crosett Thomas Dick & John Dick be a 
Committee to Look over the town Vots & lay the same Before ye 
town they think Not Proper to be Recorded 

Voted that there be a Bridge Bult over the West Branch where the 
Road is Newly Confirmed by the Town.'' 

Adjourned to the third Tuesday in May and again to the 27"' of 

" Voted that there be one Half penny per aker Laid on the None 
■Inhabitons Lands" 

James Conkey Moderator. 

The vote to build a bridge over the West Branch makes it clear 
that the road across the river had been changed and a new bridge 
was required. 

The laying a tax of one penny per acre upon the lands of all known 
Inhabitants to raise money to repair the ^Meeting house could not 
have been a burdensome demand, and the evident intention was to 
oblige all landowners to contribute. 

Annual Meeting, March 3, 1755. 

Then meet on Said Day and Was chosen Thomas Dick, Moderator. 

Town Clerk,— John Dick. 

Treasurer, — George Cowan. 

Selectmen, — Thomas Hamilton Allexender Turner John Fergerson 
William Conky & David Thomas. 

Assessors, — David Thomas John Fergerson & Daniel Gray. 

Surveyors, — William Harkness, Allexender Turner John Johnson, 
James Fergerson Arcebald Crosett, \\Tlliam Crosett W'illiam Conkey, 
James Cowan, David Cowdin. 



Constables, — Patrick McMullen & Thomas Johnson. 

Fence Viewers. — James Hamikon &: James Harkness. 

Hogreeves, — Robert Hamilton Hugh Johnson. 

At the above meeting several roads were established and we copy 
the agreements made and signed consenting to roads established by 
the selectmen. 

" Pelham March Ye 3' 1755 
These are to Signifie that We alowe a Rode of one Road In Width 
on the West side of the Second Division Lot No. Six Now in our 
Posission Beginning at the four Rode Road &: to Run as fare North 
as ye land Now in ye Posession of John Edegar And to be Improved 
by said Town So Longe as We may Peacably Posses & Injoy the 
Range Road Laid out on the North of said lot viz. the timber 
As Witness our Hands 

John Gray 
Thomas Dick 

These are to Signifie that W'e the subscribers is \^'illing that the 
Road shall be Improved by said town as Laid out By the Selectmen, 
Viz : one Rode In \\'idth through John Grays Land & two Parch 
through John Edegers John Blairs & James Fergersons Lands 

As \Vitness our Hands 

James Fergerson 
John Blair 
John Edeger 

These May Certifie that I am Willing to Let ye Road go where it 
now Dos Between Matthew Grays & ye Corn Mill Having ye Range 
Rode Equivelent 

John McFarland 

These may signify that I allowe a Road of two Parch Wide from 
My North East Corner of My Lote No 37 to the Range Road as 
\\'itness my Hand 
Pelham March 25 1755 David Thomas 

Neither Mr. Thomas nor the selectmen give any hint of the direction 
of this road, but it must be assumed that Mr. Thomas could have no 
authority to allow road building on land not his own so the road he 
consented to above must have been built from the Northeast corner 
of lot No. 37 on the plan South to the first range road : 

" These may certifie that We alowe ye town to confirm the Road 
as is laid out through our Lands as Witness our Hands Patrick 
Peebles Robert Peebles 
Pelham March 25 1775 " 


By a reference to the plan of the town it will be seen that the home 
lots of Patrick and Robert Peebles were No. 7 and No. 16 respectively, 
and the road referred to was somewhere south of Prescott center. 

" We Ye Subscribers Desire ye tovrn to Confirm a Road of two 
Parch \\'ide by the House of Daniel Grays North from the Range 
Road to his North Line Likewise from John Peebles North \^'est 
Corner to ye County Road of one Rode in \\'idth for ye Benefite of 
Daniel Gray as U'itness our Hands 

John Peebles 
March 25 1755 Daniel Gray. 

John Peebles is on record as owner of lot No. 16, perhaps by pur- 
chase of Robert Peebles, consequently it may be assumed that Daniel 
Gray lived in that part of the town and would be benefited by the 

" March the twenty first 1755 

Then Laid out a Road from Allexander Turners South East Cor- 
ner Into John Grays Land along his South Line till it Comes up the 
Hill Into the Great Road Which Road is on ye South Side of the 
Mark't trees two Parch \^■ ide by us. 

John Fergerson "^ 

William Conkey - Selectmen 

David Thomas ) 

" These May Certifie that the town May Have a Road in my Land 
two Parch Wide as itt is now Laid out if I may Have ye Range road 
as far as said Road Goes in my Land as Witness My Hand. 

John Gray. 
Pelham March ye 25 1755 " 

Alexander Turner drew Houselot No. 46 and John Gray No. 47. 
The location of the latter is substantially the same as the farm of 
Levi Moulton and the farm known as the Joseph G. Ward place. 

Meeting, April 24, 1755. 

The April business meeting was known as the " Debt & Credit " 
meeting for the reason that at this April meeting men brought in their 
bills for labor and the bills weie considered in open meeting 
and allowed or disallowed according to the temper of the meeting. 
There was much adjusting and settlement of accounts at this particu- 
lar meeting and it is interesting in its way. 

" Then Meet on said Day and was Chosen William Crosett, 


first Voted that the town His aCepted ye aCount that Thomas 
Dick Give In for His Being treasurer. 

2'^' Thomas Dick is alowed £2 — 3s — o — 2 fathings for being 
treasurer four years. 

3'^' Voted that Robert Hamilton is Cleared from His Reats ye 
year 175 i. 

4'^' A^oted tliat John Allexander Jun is Cleared from His Reats in 
ye Lists 

5'' Voted that William Conkey & John Dick each of them is 
allowed is — 4d for Mending ye Meeting House \A'indows. 

6'^' John Conkey is allowed Six shilling for taking care of the 

y'' John Fergerson David Thomas & Daniel Gray each allowed 
Six shilling for taking care of ye Invoyice. 

8'^' That Robert Peebles is alowed £2 — 13s — 4d for ten Weeks 
Boarding Preachers. 

g'>' That Mr Dickinson is alowed £2 — 12s for Preaching and Mr 
McClintock is alowed £^ — 8s for Preaching also that Mr. John 
Houston is alowed ^5 — Ss for Preaching 

lo'-"' John Blair & John Clark each alowed one Pound for Going 
to Boston to the Presbytrie. 

11'*' James Johnson is alowed ^i — los — 8d for going to the Pres- 
bytrie at Newberry. 

12'^' Robert Peebles is alowed _/' i — Gs — Sd for entertaining the 
INIinisters Presbytrie time. 

I3'''' Robert Hamilton is tleared of His Pole Reats for this year. 

14'^' John Johnson John Clark & John Blair each alow'd ^"i, for 
going to East town Presbytrie. 

15'^ David Thomas is alowed ten Shilling for going to London- 
derry for Advice. 

i6'-' that there be Six Pound for the support of a Scole for ye 
Present year. 

17'^ Voted that the Hogs Run at Large this Present year. 

18''' Voted that ye Line be Run PJetween New Salem Roadtown 
& this town by Cornel Timothy Dwight. 

19'^ that there be Forty Pounds for Repairing ye Roads 3'e Pers- 
ent year — also voted that said Money be Laid on Pols & Reatable 


20'- Voted that Each Pole be alowed two ShilUng pr Day at the 
Roads this Present year. 

21'- Voted that there be forty five Pound Assessed for the support 
of ye Gospel for the Present Year. 

22'- Voted that the Scole Be Keep at the Meeting-house & the 
East Hill & the West End each place to Have there Proporsheable 
Share Also voted that ther be a Scole House Buielt at the Meeting- 
house — Likewise voted that there be a Scole House Built at the West 
End — also voted that there Be a Scole House Buielt at the East Hill. 

William Cro-Sett Moderator. 

Annual Meeting, March i, 1756. 

Then meet on said day and there was Chosen 

William Crosett — Moderator. 

Town Clerk—John Dick. 

Treasurer — John Fergerson. 

Selectmen — John Fergerson, David Thomas, Thomas Johnson, 
John Blair & James Harkness. 

Assessors — John Fergerson, David Thomas, Daniel Gray. 

Constables — Jonathan Gray (S; William Harkness. 

Surveyors — John Conky, Robert Meklem, Archibald Crosett, 
George Cowan, George Petteson, John Gray, James Harkness, 
Edward Selfridge, James Fergerson, William Fergerson. 

Fence Viewers — William Conkey, David Cowden. 

Hoge Reeves — John Conky, Robert Blair. 

The only important matter of record at this annual meeting besides 
the choice of officers is the following — 

" This may Certifie that I Am Willing the Cross Road Go round the East 
side of ye Pond Hole In My Land two Parch Wide for the Use of the Town 
So long as I In joy the Road In the Pond Hole 

Witness My Hand 
Pelham March i 1756. George Pettesox."' 

Meeting, March 24. 1756. 

John Conky allowed four shillings for taking Care of the Meeting 

Robert Peebles allowed £t^ — 16s for keeping the iNIinister and His 
Horse fifteen Weeks. 


The Committee to Wite John Savige, George Cowan & James 
Johnson is allowed One Pound for Going to the Presbytrie at Boston. 

Voted ^40 for support of the Gospel the Present Year. 

Voted that the town be Divided Into five Parts as Relating to 

William Crosett, Moderator. 

Annual Meeting, March 7, 1757. 

Meet on said Day and there was Chosen 

William Crosett — Moderator. 

Town Clerk — John Dick. 

Treasurer — John Fergerson. 

Selectmen — Archibald Crosett, William Crosett, Patrick McMullen, 
Thomas Hamilton, James McConel. 

Assessors — John Fergerson, I^'ivid Thomas, James Harkness. 

Constables — Thomas Cochran, James Dunlap. 

Surveyors — John Peebles, James Berry, William Linsey, George 
Pettison, William Conkey, Robert King, John Crawford, Matthew 
Gray, Thomas Dick & William Selfridge. 

Fence Viewers — James Harkness, Jonathan Gray. 

Hogreeves — Oliver Selfridge, James Cowan. 

Meeting, April 12, 1757. 

Various sums allowed — 

David Thomas 5s — 4d for taking the I^rovince Invoice. 

William Fergerson 14s — 8d for His Meere to Boston & Newbery. 

W'illiam Conky 12s for one Jorney of His Horse to Boston. 

John Gray ;^i — 3s for Keeping ye Ministers six Weeks. 

Robert Peebles £2 — 12s for Keeping ye Ministers fourteen W'eeks. 

Voted ;,^4o for the support of the Gospel this Present Year. 

Voted that the Hogs run at Large. 

Annual Meeting, March 6, 1758. 

Meet on said day & there was Chosen 
William Crosett — Moderator. 
Town Clerk — John Dick. 
Treasurer — John Fergerson. 




Selectmen — William Harkness, AUexander McCallock, John 
Hunter, John Crawford & William Conk}-. 

Assessors — John Fergerson, William Crosett & Hugh Johnson. 

Surveyors — John Gray Jun, Andrew Maklem, AUexander Conky, 
James Thompson, John Hamilton, John Gray, William Harkness, 
James McConel, James Fergerson, Thomas Dick. 

Fence Viewers — Daniel Gray & Capt Robert Lotheridge. 

Hogreeves — Isaac Gray & James Cowan. 

It was at this meeting that the first action was taken for assistance 
to the poor, ^lo being allowed for the support of Thomas Lowden's 
family, and it was " Voted that Capt Robert Lotheridge, John Craw- 
ford & William Harkness Be a Committee to Receive the Money or 
Corn or Meal for said Lowdens family." It was also "Voted that 
Thomas Lowden is to Continue in the Dwelling House Where He is." 
The intention doubtless was to assist the unfortunate Lowden at his 
home rather than to remove him to other quarters. 

Meeting, May 26, 1758. 

Debt and Credit was brought in, and various sums allowed or 

John Conky allowed six shilling for taking care of Meeting house. 

Alexander Turner fourteen shilling for tending Court at Spring- 

John Crawford six shilling for Moving Thomas Lowden's Hay. 

James Harkness six shilling for taking Invoice and Making Reats. 

John Fergerson and David Thomas six shilling each making Reats. 

John Gray £7, — 15s for Boarding Minister. 

Thomas Hamilton, 6 shilling for tending the Corps of Mr. Baker. 

Robert Peebles 8 shilling for hording Minister Sacrament Time. 

Voted ^,"40 for the Support of the Gospel this Present Year. 

Voted ^13 — 6s — Sd for Support of School the Present Year. 

Voted ^8 for Repairing ye Roads. 

Each Pole is allowed three Shilling per Day on Roads. 

Eighteen pence for one Pare of Oxen and Eighteen pence for a 
Cart per Day. 

Lastly Voted that the Hogs Run at Large this Present Year. 

\A'iLLiAM Crosett, Moderator. 

loo history of pelham, mass. 

Meeting, Sept. 23, 17 58. 

This meeting seems to have been called mainl}- to choose a 
town treasurer in place of John Fergerson who had been elected at 
the previous Annual Meeting, and the cause for this action as 
recorded, wrs " By Reason of Said Fergerson's Removal." 

John Fergerson had been a prominent citizen from the very first, 
and drew home lot No. 50, located v.est of the Meeting house and 
close to the ten acres set apart for " Common, training field, and 
burial ground." It was at the log house of John Fergerson that the 
first meeting of the Proprietors was held after they took possession 
of the land and had time to build houses, and the date of the meeting 
was Aug. 6, 1740. 

Mr. Fergerson had been with the people of Pelham for nearly 
twenty years, a valuable aud trusted citizen whose removal to some 
other portion of the country must have been a serious loss. Where 
he removed to the records give no hint. There were others of the 
name in town at that time but there have been none of the name for 
many years. Besides John Fergerson there were James, Robert, 
Samuel, and William, possibly sons of town treasurer John, or his 

Annual Meeting, March 5, 1759. 

Then Meet on Said Day and was Chosen 

John Crawford — Moderator. 

Town Clerk— John Dick. 

Treasurer — Alexander McColloch. 

Selectmen — William Crosett, James Berry, William Clark, David 
Cowden, Robert McColloch. 

Assessors — Hugh Johnson, William Crosett, John Hunter. 

Constables — Alexander Conky, James Fergerson. 

Surveyors — John Dick, Alexander McNutt, John Clark, James 
Harkness, Alexander Turner. 

Field Drivers — David Cowden, Thomas Cochran. 

Hog Reeves — William Conky, William Fergerson. 

Fence Viewers — John Blair, William Selfridge. 

Deer Reeves — Hugh Johnson, James Tompson. 

There had been officers to enforce the law against " I'Cilling 
Deer" since 1743 but the office of Deer Reeve appears for the first 


time, and such officers chosen. And at a meeting May 24, 1759, 
the warrant called for action in relation to choosing a man to repre- 
sent tile town at the Great and General Court, but no action was 
talven on the article, at least there is no record of such action. This 
was the first time anything is said about sending a man to the 
General Court from the town. 

Annual Meeting, March 3, 1760. 

Meet on said day and was Chosen 

\Mlliam Crosett — Moderator. 

Town Clerk — John Dick. 

Treasurer — Allexander McColloch. 

Selectmen — James Harkness, Thomas Johnson, William Fergerson, 
Thomas Dick, Robert Lotheridge. 

Assessors — Thomas Dick, William Crosett, John Dick. 

Surveyors — William Harkness, John Blair, William Conkey, Isaac 

Field Driver — John Gray. 

Hog Reeves — John Gray, David Cowden. 

Deer Reeve — George Pettison. 

Meeting, Oct. 2, 1760. 

There was a committee chosen to Place School houses and it was 

" Voted that there be a Man or Men chosen to go to the Jersey to 
Gett a Minister to Supply the Pulpit — also Voted that John Crawford 
is Chosen to go to the Jersey to Gett a Minister to Supply the Pulpit." 

The journey to Jersey on horseback was no small undertaking at 
that time but the need of a settled minister was urgent. 

That the settlers of the town were industrious, hard-working men 
cannot be questioned but the material evidences of their success 
clearing up and subdueing the wild tract they had settled upon are 
very limited, and consist of certain invoices handed in by them for 
taxation. A small package tied with a homespun linen yarn which 
was found among waste papers and documents in boxes at the town 
clerk's office and containing about two score of these schedules dated 
in April and May, i 760, twenty-two years after the tract was pur- 
chased, give some idea of tlieir success. Eight of these invoices are 
those of first settlers who drew "home lots." and the others must 


have settled in town soon after the first settlers drew their lots. 
These invoices of property for taxation are written upon small scraps 
of paper, and give the personal property for taxation, such as stocks 
of cattle and horses, grain on hand, also the number of acres of till- 
age land, mowing and orcharding, also dwelling-houses, barrels of 
cider, tons of hav, etc. 

John Conkey's 

list was 

i as follo\ 

,vs : 



Tillage acres 


Dwelling house 


bushels of Rye 




Indian Corn 








Orcharding — acres 

1 4 



Sydor — barls 




Abo wing — acres 


Pasturing a Cow — 



Tons of hay 


Keeps Cows 



A.TRICK Peebles List. 



Wheat— Bushels 


Dwelling Houses 

Rye— Bushels 




Indian Corn— Bushels 




Oats — Bushels 




Orchard— Acres 



Cyder— Barrells 


Pasturage— Acres 


.Mowing — Acres 


Keeps Cows 

Tons of hay 


Tillage Acres 


Barley — Bushels 


Peas— Bushels 


Thomas Lowdex. 


I not 






I Corn— Bushels 




.Mowing Acres 




Tons hay 


William Gray. 











Indian Corn 









I acre 



Barrels Sider 




Mowing land 17 


Keeps Cows 


Tons Hay 



Thomas Cochrax— Envoyce. 


Mowing Land Acki 



Cape one Hors 



Sedr Barls 


Dweling House 


Indn Corn Bushels 




Reay Bushels 


One York of Oxen 

Ots Bushels 




hey tons 




P'astr one per ackr 



Swamp Hay tons 


Orchard one Acker 

and tb 

ire quai 

■ters Peas l5ushels 


John : 








Corn Indon 

12 B 




25 B 




13 B 



Syder Barls 







Tons of Hay 



13 acrs 

Mowing Land 



8 cows 

Jonathan Gray. 

Pasture acres 


Tons of Hay 


Keeps Cows 


Fresh Meadow hay 




Tilige acres 


D House 


Rye bushels 




Indian Corn bushels 








Orchard acres 








Mowing land 


Robert Maklam. 











Orchard land acres 










tons hay 


Pasturing acres 


Oats bushels 


Keeps Cows 

Money at interest ^i 

7s ID 

tilige acres 




Corn bushels 










one house 2 roms 

Orched — Ackers 

William G 

illinor's Invoice. 


S cider— Barls 



Mowing land — ackers 



Tillage— ackers 



Corn — Bushels 



hay touns 


peaster — ackers 



Keeps cows 


May ye 19 1760 & c. 

Thomas Johnson. 



Tons of hay, about 




Oats about (bushels) 








Indian corn 







Pastring for 4 cows 


Rie, (bushels) about 


Orchard acres 




Mowing land acres 


Tillage about ji acres 


John Clark. 



Pastrage (acres) 


Dwelling house 


Keeps cows 




Plow land acres 




Mowing land acres 




Tons of hay 




Rye— bush 


Orchard acres 


Indian Corn 


Cyder barls 




Oats — bushels 






Rve bush 


DweUing house 


Wheat " 




Indian Corn 






Tillig land (acres) 


Mowing land — acres — 


Tons of hay 





Orchard — acres 


D House 

Mowing " 



Rye Bushels 



Indian Corn 


Tons hay 







Tons of hay 

Tons of hay 

James Thomson. 

2 Swine 

I Tileg- land — acres 

3 Rye Bushels 



4 Corn " 

6 Mowing- land — acres 



Robert McKee. 

I Plow land acres 

1 Mowing land " 

2 Indian corn bush 





Alexander Turner. 

Pelham ye 30"' April 1760 
Three acres of orcharding produces 14 Barrels yearly. 
12 acres of Mowing produces 8 tuns of hay yearly 
8 acres and a half of tillage produces 20 Bushels of Rey 
30 bushel of Indian Corn and 15 bushels pettates yearly 
2 acres of pasteridge Keeps 2 cows yearly — 
Stoke— one youk of oxen, 3 cows, i hors, 6 sheep. 
2 Polls, I Dwelling house 

Thomas Hamilton, Jun. 
Hors I 



The name attached to this list cannot be determined. 
Pols I Sheap 


James Ston. 

I Mowing land acres 


1 twilig land 


2 tuns of hay 


2 corn bushels 


6 Rie 




moing land acres 


tilig land 



tons hay 


fresh meadow 

William Conky. 
I Pool, I Hors, 2 oxen, 4 Cows, 5 acres plough Land, 6 acers Mowing Land, 
4 tune hay, 30 bushels "Ingen Corn — 20 bushels English Grane — Wheat 17^ 
bushels, Rye 2^ bushels— a true acounte to the best of My Judgment. 



James Coxkv. 

I Pool 

3 acres plow land 

I Hous 

4 acers Mowing ] 


2 Cows 

lo Bushels wheet 

2 Horses 

4 tuns hay 

6 Sheep 


Gray's Ixyoice. 



Inden Corn 



hous iSx24 










Ackers of Tillag 




Ackers of Moaging 













Indian Corn 








Tuns of Hay 




Mowing Land acres 






















Mowing Acres 




Paster Acres 




Tons of Hay 





. Petesox. 








tons hay 




Paster keep Cows 




John M( 




Tillage 5 acers 






9 acres 



Tuns Oi liay 


Orched i 

acer h 



AMES Hood. 




20 Bushels 




3 Bushels 




ID Bushels 






3 Bushels 




I acer 




3 Barls 




9 aCres 



Money ^24—6 

.— S 


I Cow 

Tons hay 



5 aCers 



Dweling House 








Mowing- Land 




Tons Hay 

1 1 











Keeps Cows 






Indian Corn 






Not attested 


Isaac Gray. 









Dwelling house 16 x 






Orchard — Acer 



Sydor Barels 








Hay tuns English 














Money at Interest 




Dwelling House 


Fresh Meadow 

6 acres 




2 acres 



Inden Corn 

60 Bushels 


• 5 


ID Bushels 



4 bushels 




35 Bushels 



English Hay 

S Tuns 


6 acres 

Fresh Hay 

4 Tuns 

English Moing 

12 acres 


20 Barals 

Paster 6 acres capable to paster 13 Cows 


David Cowdex. 

Dwelling- hous i tilidg Land acres 7 

Pole I of Mowing Land acres 7 

Hors I of rye bushels 14 

Cows 2 of Corn bushels 19 

Oxen 2 of barley bushels 3 

Sheep 2 Oi oats bushels 25 

Swine 3 Orchard Acres 2 

Of hay bracks and bushes — tuns 6 

Margaret Thusten. 

Dwelling house i tillige 5 

Pols 2 Corn 30 

Horse i Key 4 

Oxen 2 Mowing land 8 

Swine 4 Hay 6 

Ester Alexander. 

Polls not Rateable i Tillage i 

Dwelling House i Oats 10 

Horse i Orchard aCres i 

Cows 4 Sydor 8 

Pasture 4 Mowing 7 

Keeps Cows 2 Tuns of Hay 5 

Alexander McNitts' Iwoice. 

Pools I Moyaing Land 6 

Dwelling house 19 by 26 tillage land 3 

Oxen 2 Indin Corn 25 

Cows 3 Kie 10 

Sheep 10 tons of hay 3 

Per Jxo Young. 

A Just and true acount of what I have that is rateable to the best of my 

I Poll 2 Horses 

three acres of paster r Cow 

One of Mowing Drags to the \'alue of ^50—00—0 

Jaems Sloan. 

Polls 2 tilige 4 

houses I Corn 22 

Horses i orchard sider 3 

oxen 2 Mowing 13 

Cows 6 tons of hay 13 

Sheep 33 Ray 8 

Swine i Wheat o 

Pastridge o Oats 11 







tillage 6 acus 



Inen Conn 

30 B 








16 B 




20 B 



Orchad 1 S 

1 B 

ID tone 

Keeps I Cow 




Croset's Invoice. 



Ackers of tillige land 


Dwelling house 

19 by 37 

Ackers of orchard 




Buchels of Corn 




Buchels of Rie 




Buchels of oats 


Ackers of Mowing 

Land 12 

Barrels of Sider 


tuns of hay 






Orchard acres 


Dwelling hous 


Cyder Barrels 




Mowing acres 




Hay tons 




Barley bushells 




Oats Bushels 


tillage acres 


pasturage acres 


Indun Corn Bushe 

Is 28 

Keeps a cow half 

Rye Bushels 


Peas iX: oats bushels 


Oliver Selfridge. 

Pelham May ye 19th 1760 
Of Mowing an acre and quarter — i tun of hay 
Of Corne land one acre — ten Bushels corne 
Of new land three quarters of an acre — three Bushels of wheat 
One horse one Cow one hog 


Margerett Kidd. 

2 tuns hay 

I Syder — barls 

Nearly all of the grains enumerated in the invoices were used as 
food by the settlers, and they certainly had plenty for home consump- 
tion. Only four men returned money at interest, and only one 
includes potatoes among his crops for taxation. 


James Hood, James Halbert, John Linsey and Robert Maklem 
returned money for taxation, the aggregation of surplus capital of 
these four men for which they were honest enough to return for tax- 
ation was ;^6o-4S.-7d.-3far. 

These men were probably looked up to with the same feeling of 
awe and fear as working men of to-day regard the modern millionaire. 
The independent and original spelling of each of the tax payers 
has been retained in copying the invoices and is interesting. On the 
back of each scrap is endorsed the word "Recorded" and some 
have also the word " attested," indicating that some of the tax-payers 
made oath to their invoices while others did not. Only a few of the 
farmers remembered to date their schedules after making them out. 
From these invoices of thirty-eight men and four women we learn 
that these forty-two farmers had given in for taxation, after only 
twenty-two years had passed away since they bargained for this 
tract of wild land, the following list of personal property: 
42 Horses, 375 Bushels of rye, 

137 Cows, 256 " oats, 

61 Oxen, 833 " corn, 

132 Sheep, 140 " wheat, 

56 Swine, 53 Barrels of cider, 

284 Tons of hay. 

The list of invoices may not be complete for the whole town, but 
it is all that it has been possible to find of such an early date. They 
are written upon small scraps of paper, some of them only two or 
three inches square, the printed copy of William Gilmore's invoice 
being a fair sample of all, and one of the few in the package bearing 
a date. James Conkey, James Hood, Thomas Lowden, John Gra}-, 
John Conkey,, Patrick Peebols, William Gray and Alexander Turner 
were among those who drew home lots in 1739, and their farms can 
be located by referring to the plan of the town. The others whose 
invoices are given it is impossible to locate, as they came to town 
after the drawing of home lots and purchased lands or farms already 
under cultivation, or had taken up new lands by purchase of original 

The first census of Pelham was taken in 1765 and the number of 
inhabitants at that time, twenty-six years after the drawing of home 
lots in 1739, was '^^^h' 37^- Consequently it is fair to assume that 


there were not more than 300 men. women and children in the town 
when the foregoing invoices were given in for taxation. As small 
families were tlie exception and large ones the rule in those days it 
is evident that the list of invoices comes much nearer being a full Wit 
of farms at that time than otherwise. Allowing seven persons for 
the forty-two farms or families represented and it comes close to a 
complete list of the taxable property in 1760. 

Annual Meeting, March 2, 1761. 

Then Meet and was Chosen 

Thomas Dick, Moderator. 

Town Clerk — John Dick 

Treasurer — Allexander McColloch 

Selectmen — Thomas Dick, David Houston, David Cowden, Robert 
McColloch, John Dick 

Assessors — Thomas Dick, William Crosett, John Dick 

Surveyors — Isaac Gray, Thomas Hamilton, Allexander Conkey, 
George Petteson, William Harkness, John Blair, Allexander McCol- 
k)ch, Allexander Turner. 

Constables — William P'ergerson, John Peebles 

Wardens — John Crawford, Robert Meklem 

Fence Viewers — John Croser, William Conky 

Hog Reeves^ — Aaron Gray, William Gray 

Deer Reeves — Isaac Gray, James Turner. 

Meeting Sept. S, 1761. 

^^£i-j-Gs-Sd was voted to Repair the Bridge on the West Branch 
to Make it Passable — said work to be done this fall. 

^6-1 OS was voted to send a man to Pennsylvania after a Minister. 
Voted that the scole be continued the whole year." 

Annual Meeting, March i, 1762. 

Then meet & First Was Chosen 
Hugh Johnson Moderator 
Town Clerk — John Dick 
Treasurer — Thomas Dick 


Selectmen — Hugh Johnson, James Cowan, Robert Meklem, George 
Petteson & Isaac Gray 

Assessors — John Hamilton juner, David Cowden & Hugh Johnson 

Constables — Mathew Gray and John Gray Jn' 

Surveyors — James Thompson, Daniel Gray, Thomas Cochran, 
Patrick McMullen, William Harkness, Joseph Rinken & Robert 

Fence Viewers — Allexander McNutt & James Turner. 

Hog Rives — James Thompson iSr \\'illiam Edger. 

Wardens — Hugh Holland & William Conkey. 

Voted, by the town that the selectmen take Care of Sarah Davison 
Three Months at the Towns charge. 

"Protest — We the Subscribers Enter our Protest against ye vote of 
The Town taking care of Sarah Davison Three months. 

George Cowan, James Cowan." 

Rev. Mr. McDowell was preaching in Pelham at this time but no 
minister had been settled since Rev. Mr. Abercrombie's dismissal in 
1754, and the town had been presented at court for this neglect, as 
will be learned by action at the meeting August iSth, which follows: 

Warrant for a Meeting August 18, 1762. 

'•First To See if ye Town Will Chuse a agent or Agents to appear for said 
Town and Answer the Presentment of the Grand Jury to be Considered at 
tlie Xixt Court of General Sessions of the Peace to be Held at Springfield 
in & for the said county on the Last Day of August Current for Wickedly 
& Willingly Neglecting to provide themselves of an orthodox Minister for 
the three years Last Past Contrary to Law."" 

Thomas Dick was chosen Moderator of this important meeting and 
action on the first article resulted as per record. 

''First \'oted that Capt John Savige is Chosen agent to Represent 
the Town to answer to the Presentment at the General Sessions of 
the Peac at Springfield ye Last Tuesday of August Currant."' 

The fifth article in a warrant for a town meeting Sept. 21, 1762, is 
copied herewith : 

"Fifthly, To have thj Town Consider Whetlier they will chuse a Agent 
to Sue out & Present a Write Csheray in order to Revers the Last Judg- 
ment of Ye Court of Sessions that the town of Pelliam settle a Minister 
as the law Directs by Nixt Novemlier Court and in Case they Don't the 
Court Shall Do it for them ^:c. 


James Harkness was chosen Moderator of this meeting and when 
the fifth article was reached — the record says — 

" Fifthly Voted that there is Nothing Acted on the fifth article of 
the Warrant." 

"De Rex vs. Pelham. Last Tuesday of August Court of Ses- 
sions. 1762. 

The Grand Jurors for Our Soverign Lord the King for the body of the 
County of Hampshire do on their oaths present that the Inhabitants of the 
Town of Pelham in s"* County for the space of three years last past have 
voluntarily omitted & Neglicted to provide themselves of an able and 
learned and orthodox Minister of good conversation to dispense the Word 
of God to them and that the said Inhabitants during all the term aforesaid 
have voluntarily and wickedly neglected to take due care for the procuring 
and settling and Encouragment of such Minister among them which neglect 
of said Inhabitants is Contrary to the Law of this Province in such Case 
provided the Peace of Said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity which 
presentment was made at the last term of Court and signed Nathaniel 
Kellogg foreman. And now comes before the Court the said Inhabitants 
of Pelham aforesaid by John Savage Gent'° their Agent, and being put to 
plead and answer for the Presentment they say they are in Nothing guilty 
thereof and of this they put themselves on the Country. A jury being 
sworn according to Law to try the issue between our Soverign Lord the 
King and the Defendants — after a full hearing on their oaths say the 
Defendants are Guilty. 

It is therefore Considered by the Court that the said Inhabitants of Pel- 
ham aforesaid do provide themselves of an able learned orthodox minister 
of good conversation to dispense the Word of God to them by ye next term 
of this Court at the farthest & they pay the Costs of Prosecution &c." 

Tuesday Nov. 9"^ 1762. 

Whereas the Inhabitants of the Town of Pelham upon presentment made 
against Them for being destitute of a Minister &c and of which they were 
found guilty at a Trial before the Court at the last term thereof, were 
ordered to provide Themselves of an able learned orthodox minister of 
good Conversation to dispense the word of God to them by this Term of 
ye Court at the furtherest and it hath not yet been certified to this Court 
whether they have performed s'' Order. It is therfore ordered by this Court 
that the s'* Inhabitants of Pelham be summoned to appear before his 
Majesty's Justices at the next Court of General Sessions of the Peace to be 
held at Northampton &c that they may show to ye Court what they have 
done in Obedience to the fore recited order etc. Summons was made 

De Rex vs. Pelham Feb S 1763. 
The Inhabitants of the Town of Pelham who were Summoned to appear 
at this Court pursuant to the summons which was made for this purpose 


agreeable to the order of this Court at the last Term thereof to testify to the 
Court what they have done in obedience to the order of the Court at their 
last term in August last now Come before the Court by John Savage their 
Agent and offer to show to the court that they have endeavored to Comply 
with the said order last abovesaid and this Court having heard the said 
Inhabitants as to their attempts to perform the s** order and the Court being 
satisfied that they have been endeavoring a compliance with the same and 
it also appearing to the Court that the s'^ order be not fully performed the 
said Inhabitants are still pursuing such Methods as may effect a performance 
thereof. It is therefore ordered that the Matter be continued to the next 
term of Court that the Court May further advise and determine therein. 
And it is also ordered that said Inhabitants pay ye cost of the prosecution 
heretofore and now carried on against them in the premises, taxed at five 
Pounds 19-7 & that the Execution be awarded accordingly. 

De Rex vs. Pelham 1763. 

The Inhabitants of the town of Pelham who were summoned to appear 
at this Court the last term tliereof to testify to the Court what they 
have done in Obedience to the Order of the Court at their Terra 
in August last now come before the Court by John Savage their Agent 
and offer to Show to the Court that they have Endeavored to Comply 
with the s'' Order last above said and this Court having heard the s'' Inhabi- 
tants as to their Attempts to perform the s'' Order and the Court being sat- 
isfied that they have been endeavoring a CompHance with the same, and it 
also apearing to the Court that tho the s'^ Order be not fully performed the 
s*^ Inhabitants are still pursueing such Methods as may effect a performance 
thereof. It is therefore ordered that the matter be Continued to the Next 
Term of this Court that the Court may further advise and determine therein 
— And it is also ordered that the s'' Inhabitants pay ye Cost of the Prosecu- 
tion heretofore and now carried on against them in the premises taxed at 
19-7 and that the Execution be awarded accordingly. 

.May 8'" 1763. 

De Rex vs. Pelham Aug. 30 1763. 

It being now fully certified to this Court that tlie Town of Pelham have 
settled a Minister agreeable to an order of this Count at a former Session 
thereof. It is ordered that they be not further held to Answer respecting 
that Matter. It is also ordered that the Execution be Issued for the Costs 
therefor taxed against the Said Town. 

Illegal Killing Deer in Pelham in 1763. 

Killing deer in defiance of law and in disregard of the deer reeves _ 
chosen by the town was the cause of quite a number of Pelham men 
paying the penalty at the bar of the court as is shown by the court 
records which we copy. 

town meeting records. ii5 

" De Rex vs. Cowan, Court of Sessions, Feb. 8, 1763. 
John Worthington Esq attorney to our Soverign Lord the King in this 
behalf here instantly informs and gives this Court to understand that James 
Cowan the Second of Pelham in the County of Hampshire, yeoman, at s"^ 
Pelham on the sixth day of January last past did wittingly and willingly Kill 
one Grown wild Deer and then and there had in his possession the raw flesh 
and raw skin of the same Deer Contrary to one Law of this Province in 
that case made and provided against the Peace of .the said Lord the King 
his Crown & Dignity. And now comes before the Court the said James 
(being held by recognisance for this purpose) and being put to plead to the 
foregoing Information he pleads that he is guilty. — The Court having Con- 
sidered of the offence do order that the said James pay a fijie of ten pounds 
lawful money to be the one moiety thereof to his Majesty for the support of 
the Government &c & the other moiety of the same to William Boltwood of 
Amherst Gent'" the original Informer in this case, and costs of Prosecution 
taxed at one pound 3-8. The said James Declaring here in this Court his 
inability to pay said fine, It is further ordered that he be disposed of in Ser- 
vice to any of his Majesty^ subjects for ye space of two Months from ye 
time of ye Sale of said James — standing Committed &c 

Sold for 25 ■' (Shillings) 

There were several cases of the same kind tried in the same court, 
and among them was James Halbert of Pelham. Halbert was con- 
victed and being In no better condition to pay his tine, he was dis- 
posed of in service for two months for 30 shillings. 

We learn from the cases of Cowan and Halbert that the deer 
reeves made a business of watching for deer slayers and when they 
obtained positive evidence against a man they made it known to 
some sheriff who complained, arrested the offenders and when con- 
victions resulted the sheriff and the informer received half of the fine. 
If the poor fellows who were convicted of killing deer could not pay 
the fine their services were sold for several months to the highest 
bidder. So it was with Cowan and Halbert. 


From 1763 to 1776. 

Call of Rev. Richard Crouch Graham to Settle iniySj. — Objectors 
Thereto. — War?img of Objectionable Families to Leave Town. — 
Penning the Meeting-house in iy66. — Allotment of Pews. — Dis- 
agreement With the Shutesbury Selectmen About Town Lines in 
lydg. — Town Vendue in lydg. — Death of Rev. Mr. Graham in 
J771. — Rev. Andrew Bay Supplies the Pulpit 1772. — Patriotic 
Respo?ise to the Boston Committee of Correspondence, 1773. — 
Call to Rev. Nathaniel Merrill in November, 1774. — Letter of a 
Pelham Man in the Army at Charlestown, 1775. — Committee of 
Safety Chosen 1776. — Handbill From the Court for Independ- 
ency 1776. 

Meeting, Jan. 24, 1763. 

In the warrant for this Meeting were these important articles : 

First, To take into consideration whither they will Settle a Gospel 
Minister under and in Subjection to the Authority of the Presbyterie 
— Whose Authority we are at present Professed Subjects to Com- 
monly Called Boston Presbyterie. 

Secondly whether they will choose Mr. Richard Crouch Graham 
who at Present Supplys the Pulpit in this town, to be the Gospel 
Minister above Described. 

" Thirdly, What Incouragement the Town of Pelham will be 
Pleased to Give Him to Settle Amongst them as to a Present Settle- 

Forthly What His Annuall Mentainance or Yearly Sellary Shall 
be While he Remains our Minister acording to the above Presbi- 
tarel Establishment. 

William Crosset was chosen Moderator of this Meeting and the 
record informs us that the town " First Voted that the first Article is 
Concord With as it is Mentioned in the Warrant. 

Secondly Voted that Richard Crouch Graham is to be thare Gos- 
pel Minister as is above Discribed. 




It was voted to call Richard Crouch Graham to settle with them 
and iJ"ioo lawful money voted to him if he should accept the call. 
They also voted that his salary should be ^60 a year. 

Not all were satisfied with this action however, for Thomas 
Cochran, James Taft, Joshua Gray, Mathew Gray, Joseph Rinkin, 
James McConel, David Cowden, John Stevenson, William Clark, 
John Dick, John Blair, Oliver Selfridge, William Fergerson, Aaron 
Gray, James Harkness, William Harkness, William Selfridge, James 
Fergerson, Ephraim Cowan, William Gray and Moses Gray pro- 
tested against the action of the majority in calling Mr. Graham. It 
will be remembered that William Fergerson, John Dick and James 
Fergerson protested against the action of the town in voting to settle 
Rev. Robert Abercrombie as their minister, and twenty years later 
we find them protesting against the settlement of Mr. Graham, which 
can but prove that the chronic objector was not unknown at that 
early day. 

Meeting, Feb, 15, 1763. 

At a town Meeting on the 15"' of February, 1763, the selectmen 
were chosen a committee to " Employ Workmen to finish repairs on 
the Meeting House as fare as the Stoof will finish," and Mathew 
Gray was allowed five shillings and four pence for "Warning Curtis 
Clemens & his wife out of the Town." Patrick Rebels was allowed 
" One Shilling & Three pence for Making a foot Lock for John 
Davison." John Gray was allowed five Shilling & four pence for 
" Warning the Widow Elisebeth Queen out of Towai." 

James Pebels was allowed " one Shilling for taking care of John 
Davison an insane man." William Conkey was " Allowed Four 
Shilling & Eight Pence for going to Oxford for Mr. Cambel," who 
probably was a " Supplyer " for the pulpit. David Cowden, Hugh 
Johnson and John Hamilton were allowed 12 shilling and 6 shilling 
respectively for work taking the Invoice, and John Gray was allowed 
^6 — 15s — I id for the same kind of service. Voted Robert Maklem 
£1 — 1 8s and John Alexander 12 shilling, all for the very honorable 
business of " Boarding Ministers." 

At a Meeting on the 3'' of May, 1763, ;^2o addition was voted to 
Mr. Graham's salary, but the addition was not to become a tangible 
fact until the year 1766 and to make it more tantalizing the additional 


vote reads "And to Pay four Pound at the End of every three Year 
Till Said Addition be Paid." 

In a warrant for a Meeting Dec. 2, 1763, the following article 
appeared : First, to see if the town will agree upon a time when Mr. 
Graham's Salary should commence, — and it was voted that the selary 
should commence at the time of his ordination. 

At a Meeting Jan. 20, 1764, ^8 was voted for the support of 
Thomas Lowden, and the General Court was petitioned for liberty 
to sell lands of Elinor Gray, who had already been assisted by the 
town and £^ — 7 s was allowed for her support that year. The poor 
woman died not long after and had no further need of lands or 
assistance from the town. 

The ordination of Mr. Graham had taken place and the bills had 
been reported to the town, and the allowances made as follows : 
"John Gray is allowed £6 — 17s — 6d for Charges at Ordination time, 
and £1 — 7s — 6cl for His trouble at Ordination time." Elisibeth 
Clark is allowed 4s for "Tendance at ordination time." John Gray 
was allowed ^5 — 17s "for Boarding ye Ministers." James Turner 
had an allowance of 8s for boarding two ministers ordination time, 
and John Savige 12s for " Pastring Horses Ordination time." 

Meeting, Feb. 2, 1765. 

It is quite probable that the meeting house had been without pews 
up to this time, though doubtless there were enough benches to 
accommodate the people on Sundays and at the frequent town-meetings, 
but better accommodations were at hand, as witness the following 
vote, dated February 2, 1765 : "Seventhly — Voted that the Whole 
body of the Meeting House is to be made in Plain Pews." 

In some way inhabitants that were not acceptable persisted in com- 
ing into the town, for at an adjournment of this same meeting to the 
4th of March following, James Halbert was allowed 3s. for "Warning 
Benjamin Whitney & his Wife out of this Town." 

Daniel Gray was elected " Surveyor of wheat for the ensuing year 
in 1765." 

We learn also that a new house had been erected for Rev. Richard 
Crouch Graham, and "that there is a two Rode Road Established 
from ye two Rode Road South of Mr. Graham's new House by s'' 
House to the County Road. — Consented to by R Crouch Graham 
March 4 1765." 


The above is given to show how indefinitely many of the roads- 
were laid out and consented to, rendering it almost impossible at 
this late day to locate them or even to make a fairly good guess where 
they were or where they led to. 

Sept. 23, 1765. Two pounds were voted to buy weights and 
measures and William Fergerson was chosen sealer of these very 
necessary articles for the year 1765. 

Meeting, Feb. 2S, 1766. 

John Dick was allowed 10 shilling for sending for the temporary 
acts for twenty years past, and as Andrew Shaw and family were 
objectionable people. Robert Hamilton was allowed 3s for " Warn- 
ing them out of the town and recording the warrant." 

This seems to prove that some legal process was resorted to in 
ridding the towui of new settlers that did not come up to the stand- 
ard that had been set up. Action upon the ninth article of the war- 
rant for this meeting is recorded as follows : " Voted that the Town agreed on a Method to Pew or Repair the Meeting House 
and that a Committee be chosen to lay out the Grounds in the Meet- 
ing House Round the Sids of Said House, — Said Committee is 
Thomas Dick, John Hunter and John Dick. The two Dicks were 
carpenters, and were the builders of the Meeting House and com- 
petent men to have on a committee to " Pew " the house. ;^ioo was 
voted for the work. 

Meeting, March 27, 1766. 

It was voted that twenty-seven Pews be built, twenty-four below 
and three in the front Gallery. It was also voted " that two familys 
is to sit in one Pue,"' — Voted that Said Pens is to be divided by two 
years of the old Invoice & the Last Inventory, — Voted that the 
two highest in the Rats Draw the Highest Pew, — So on agreeable to 
this Method till the Whole is Comprehended. — Voted that the Men 
that Draws Said Pews Give Nots of Hand to the treasurer for said 
Money & Said Money to be paid a year hence. 

Thomas McMuUen Entered his protest against the action above 

The Meeting of March 5, 1767 had little of note beyond allowing 
money for services rendered to the town. David Cowden was- 


Pew No. I- 


" " 2- 




'• " 4- 


" " 5- 


" " 6- 


u .. ^_ 


^' " 8- 


" " 9- 


" " lO- 


allowed 5s for " Making Stocks, Lock and Kie," for which they had 
-doubtless found use. 

Allotment of Pews. 

The Appraisal of the Meeting House Pews was made by Thomas 
Dick and Archibald Crossett, March 28, 1766. They also made 
the allottment. 

■iSs, Patrick McAIuUen. Thomas Johnson. 

COS. Patrick Peebles, John Peebles. 

IDS, Daniel Gray, Alathew Gray. 

23. James Berry, James Thompson. 

■IS, Robert Maklem, William Gilmore. 

DOS, Thomas Dick, James Sloan. 

i8s, George Pettison, William Gray. 

•I2S, John Dick, James Hood. 

IDS, John Savige, James Harkness. 

■Ss, Hannah Lothridge, John Gray. 
" " II — .2^4 — 6s, Robert King, William Crossett. 
" " 12 — £d, — cos, Ichabod Crossett, Thomas Hamilton. 
" " 13 — £0 — 14^1 John Blair, Thomas Cochran. 
" " 14 — £t, — I2S, John Hunter, Isaac Gray. 
" " 15 — i^3— los, Robert McCulloch, Hugh Johnson. 
" " 16 — £2) — 6s, Alexander Turner, David Cowden. 
" " 17— Z3 — 2S, William Harkness, James Dunlap. 
" " iS — £^ — IS, John Conkey, Elizabeth Selfridge. 
" " 19— ^3 — 00s, Jonathan Gray, John Clark. 
" " 20—^2—153, William Fergerson, John Stevenson. 
" " 21— /2 — IDS, Andrew Maklem, Alexander Conkey. 
" " 22 — £2 — Ss, Ephriam Cowan, John Lucore. 
" " -'i—£- — 2S, John Gray Jun, James Taylor. 
" " 24 — £2 — COS, David Huston, Alexander McCulloch. 
" " 25 — ^i — iSs, James McConel, John McCartney. 
" " 26 — ^1—175, Sarah Cowan, James Cowan. 
" " -7 — £^ — 00s, John Lindsay. 

The above allotment did not satisfy the people however and it was 
sometime before it was finally .settled. At a Meeting on August 6, 
1769 "It was voted that the elderly Men and their Wives be seated 
in the front part Seats Below, Provided they clear them on Sacra- 
ment Days. — Voted that the front seats all round the Gallery be 
seated by the. Present Valuation, and only the Heads of familys sit 
in said Seats. 


August 31, 1767 Alexander Conkey, Clerk of the Market acknowl- 
edged the reception from the selectmen of the various Weights and 
Measures and gave a receipt for them. 

Meeting, March 31, 1768. 

March 31, 176S "Robert Hamilton was allowed 3s for One 
Gallon of Rum for Raising the Bridge, "and John Peebles jun is for 
" Making a branding iron for the town." Nov. 16 of the same year, 
Samuel Hyde, James Gilmore and George Thompson were voted 
" Liberty to build a Pew over the Women's Stears," and James 
Campbell, Andrew Hamilton, James Cowden, William Cowden, 
David Conkey Jun, John Harkness, John Maklem and Jonathan 
Hood were voted liberty to build a pew over the " Men's Stears." 
From other matters of record it appears that the persons to whom 
these liberties were voted were young men who wished seats in the 
Meeting House for their own special use. 

April II, 1799. It was voted that the Town Pew be moved to 
where it tirst stood and the Nixt Pew be as Large as the town Pew 
and the Corner Pew^ to have the rest of the ground. John Dick, 
Hugh Johnston and Archibald Croset were chosen to provide 
shingles to finish Roof of the Meeting house and to Luploy 
Workmen to Do Said \^'ork. 

In the town records for the }ear 1769 is the following entry which 
shows that the trouble about the north line was still unsettled. 

Pelham, March the twenty third one thousand seven hundred and 
sixty nine. Pursuant to a Notification issued by us the subscribers 
Selectmen of Pelham Requiring the selectmen of Shutesbury meet, 
us at the Northwest Corner of the township of Pelham and from 
thence pramble the line Between Said towns have attended Said 
Service the Day above written and there meet John Child and Silas 
Wild Selectmen of Shutesbury and Preambled said Line until we 
came against the Land of John Chamberline and there said Child 
and Wild refused further to Preamble said Line also giving the line- 
from thence Eastward not to be the true Line Between said towns. 
Robert Makle.m, William Conkey, David Cowden, 

Selectmen of Pelham. 

122 history of pelham, mass. 

Mee]-ing, March 24, 1769. 

Pelham March the 24 One Thousand seven hundred and Sixty 
Nine. Pursuant to a Notification Issued by us the Subscribers — 
■ Selectmen of Pelham Requesting the Selectmen of the District of 
New Salem to Meet us on the North Line of the township of Pelham 
aforesaid where the townships of Shutesbury and New Salem meet 
with said North line of Pelham have attended said service and there 
meet with Lieut. Foster, Isreal Richardson and Jeremiah Ballard 
selectmen of Said District the Day above — Said Selectmen of Said 
District Refused to Preamble the North line of Pelham with us 
Alledging the line we Claimed as the North line of the township of 
Pelham was Not the true line of said township but verbally agreed 
with us that upon a true copy of the Grant of the Equivalent Land 
being Procured so as thereby to obtain a certainty of the North East 
Corner of said Equivalent Land that they would extend a line from 
thence Due West Point of Compass the line between said towns. 
Robert Maklem, William Conkey, David Cowden, 

Selectmen of Pelham 

The following is a copy of a document which bears the heading : 

" Town Vendue. 

Sold at Publick Vendue at ye Meeting House of Pelliam ye 26 of Oct'"' 
1769 to ye Persons Under Named Said Sums Set Down in old tenor viz. 

Patrick Peebles 2 heaps of Shingles 
And" Ebercrombie Three heaps of Shingles 
Ebenezer Gray one heap of Sliingles 
Eisha Divenport two heaps of Shingles 
Tho=* Johnston one heap of Shingles 
William Conkey one thousand of Nails 
Joseph Rinken one thousand of Nails 
Patrick Peebles one thousand of Nails 
Tho' Johnston one thousand of Nails 
William Conkey one thousand of Nails 
And"' Meklem one thousand of Nails 
And"' Ebercrombie one thousand of Nails 
Patrick Peebles seven hundred of Nails 
John Conkey Jun one Binch 
Patrick Peebles two Plank 
Hugh Johnston " '• 
Patrick Peebles Nine Joyce 
John Dick Joyce 
Joseph Rinken Plank 

£\-j — 06 —00 
George Pattisox \'endue Master."' 



— ood 












— GG 






— GO 



— OG 






— OG 



— 00 












— OG 



— GG 









— OG 


Paid p.v Dick, Old Tenor. 





-10 ■ 




— 00 



— 00 




Paid in Cash by John Dick to Thomas Dick for Rum 
Paid by John Dick in Change 
Paid Hamilton for Rum 
Troble Vendue Days 
For Collection 

Old tenor town Money ^6 — 02 — 06 

The town vendue 12S years ago seems to have been quite a social 
occasion judging from the quantity of liquor purchased by town 
Clerk John Dick wdth the town funds for use at that gathering. 
Just how^ the town came to have so many heaps of shingles and so 
many thousands of nails that they felt it necessary to sell to the 
highest bidder is not so easily determined, but probably the Meeting- 
house had been given a new roof after thirty years of service by the 
first roof that had been placed upon it, and these heaps of shingles 
and thousands of nails were left over and were distributed to those 
in need of them at vendue. 

Meeting, July 12, 1770. 

The matter of additions to Rev. Mr. Graham's " Sallery " came up 
for further consideration at a Meeting held July 12, 1770, and it was 
reaflfirmed by vote that the bargain was as follows : " That theie 
was to be a Standing Addition to Mr. Grahams Sallery of four 
Pounds at the End of Every three Years till it x\mounts to from 
Sixty Pound to Eighty and there to Stand while he remains our 
Minister." In January, 177 1, a committee was chosen to "Call the 
Men to an Account that had the care of the Town Stock of Ammu- 
nition." Osborn Brown and family were warned out of town in that 
same year, and James Hunter was allowed the legal fee of three 
shilling for executing the order. 

Meeting, April 16, 1772. 

The record of a town meeting on the 16'^ of April, 1772, has the 
following singular entry : " Voted that Widow Graham Supply the 
Pulpit Four Sabbath Days." Rev. Mr. Graham died on the 25"' of 
February, 1771, in the 32'' year of his age and in April, 1772, this 
vote requiring Widow Graham to supply the pulpit four Sabbaths 
was passed. As there were no women preachers in those days, we 


cannot believe that Mrs. Graham was to supply the pulpit by preach- 
ing herself, and are forced to the conclusion that from her own scanty 
means she was expected to pay the expense of a " Supplyer " for 
four Sabbaths. 

The' following September a Meeting was held and it was " Voted 
That the Selectmen is impowered to give Thomas Johnson a order 
on the Treasurer for the Charge of the Funerul when Mr. Graham 
was buried, Which is £i — i8s — 5d," also " voted that Thomas Dick, 
James Harkness, Thomas Cochran, William Crossett, John Dick 
and Robert Hamilton be a Committee with the Elders to treat with 
the Reverend Mr. Bay for a further trial in order for a settlement ; " 
but as no Mr. Bay was ever settled he either did not grant the 
further trial, or a further trial was unsatisfactory. Yet on the 14* 
of October, 1772, it was " Voted that there is Eighty Pound granted 
for the Reverend Mr. Andrew Bay by way of Settlement, provided 
he settle Among us." 

Meeting, March, 1773. 

In March, 1773, it was "Voted that there is Sixty Pound Granted 
for the support of the Gospel provided Rev. Mr. Bay don't settle 
among us." 

Three families were warned out this year (1773) and John Alex- 
ander was allowed the fees for doing the business and recording the 
warrants. And at the same Meeting the vote calling Mr. Bay to 
settle v»as recalled. The history of the Rev. Mr. Bay episode forces 
one to believe that these people hardly knew their own minds. 

Meeting, Nov. 16, 1773. 

At an adjourned Meeting held on the 16"' of November, 1773, a 
committee chosen on the 9''' of the same month reported as follows 
in answer to a communication from the committee of correspondence 
in Boston. 

To the Committee of Correspondence in Boston, Gentlemen : 
We have considered your Circular letters and are Not a little 
Shoked at the attempts upon the liberties of America, from Such 
Beginnings of Oppression upon the properties of the french Did that 
ill fatted & worse pated Lewis the thirteenth by the Cruel Craft of a 
richlieu with Bribes Lucrative posts Underhanded Treacheries fines 


imprisonments Banishments & Most treacherus and Bloody Masu- 
cries utterly sap the very foundations both of civil and Religious 
Liberty and establish arbitrary power in that new Kingdom of 

We replid back also upon the unhappy Reign of the Stuart family 
& bloody Struggles to subdue a free people to Nonresistance and 
Passive obedience. We have still a More feeling sense of the 
worth of our Liberties by the total loss of them in the conquered 
Kingdom of Ireland When altho made of the same one Blood they 
have a yoke of Iron Put upon there Necks & they must Serve their 
Conquerers with as much of their Money and Blood as they are 
pleased to demand and Sustain More Intolerable oppressions from 
these Legislative Masters & Unfeeling Landlords than some of the 
Barbarious Nations compared by the Ancient Romans before the 
Wars of there Empire. 

This so greivous a yoke upon the Western Isle Avhich neither they 
nor their fathers were able to Bear has driven them by hundreds & 
by thousands to bide a final adue to their otherwise Dear Native 
Land & Seek a peaceful Retreat from the bane of Oppressions in 
this American Wilderness. 

Depending upon the faith of the Nation for all the priviliges 
Charterd to the American Colonies, we Cannot therfore but be 
greatly Alarmed at the News of the Incroachments upon the Natural 
and Chartered Rights of this Province where we have our abode. 
We drained our purses and Spiled not a little of our Dearest blood 
in the late War in defense of our Gracious King against frainch 
perfidy and Indian Barbarity in hops he would be a father to this 
Country and Protect our lives and all our Rights &: Liberties. Nor 
can we tamely Surrender these Liberties Recieved with the Expense 
of so Much Blood and treasure from Cruel Saviges to the More 
unnatural invaders we cordially acquiess in Revolution Principls, 
we utterly Detest a Popish pretender to the throne. — We wish the 
Illustrous house of Hanover may long sway the Brittish Septer in 
truth & Justice, — we pray that in Righteousness the throns of His 
Present Majesty May be Established and be far from oppression & 
that he May Sit and Rule on a Quiet and unmolested throne in truth 
& Rightiousness till he Retorn at Last to a More Glorious throne 
above. But if When we look for Judgment behold there is a cry of 


oppression, if the Glorious things Prescribed for the Western King- 
dom Shall Extend there baneful Influences thrae thus American 
Territory'' — if our money be taken from us Without our (.'onsent, 
why not our Lands & Even our lives. We fear Whereunto these 
things May Grow. But after all the Detail of Greivances you Were 
pleased to Send us. We are obliged in Justice & Gratitude to 
acknowledge that We have many Invaluable Priviliges Not as yet 
Wrested from us & we take it as no Small Token of the Divine Dis- 
pleasure that we are so far threatened & Deprived as we are as 
Members of the Community Both for our own and the General Good 
we humbly offer as our opinions that we Study to be Quiet iK: do 
Nothing Rashly and avoid as much as Possible the Reproach of 
Muttny as moving Sedition, or in any Degree hurtful to King or 
Province. And let us have Patience alonger in our humble Suits for 
Justice to the British throne — in a Pious & Manly Sense of the 
worth of our Liberties. — Still Struggling by Lawful & Constitutional 
Measures to vindicate our Natural & Pactioned Rights let us 
do no Wrong, But Rather be wronged as we Learn by Doctor 
Sibs : that the wronged Side is the Safer Side. But if at length all 
our Humble Petitions for our own Natural or Promised Rights Shall 
be baffled & Refuge on Earth and Hops of Redress Shall fail us we 
trust We Shall be Wanting in nothing in our power by Laudable & 
Wholesome Counsel to Unite With our Dear Countrymen for our 
Mutual Good and Shall Venture our Properties & Lives in Executing 
any Plan Pointed out by the Supreme Ruler and as the innate and 
Principles of Self Preservation & love to our Posterity may oblige us. 
— Tho we would not be Munnors & Complainers Especially for 
Wrongs we do not Suffer, Nor Rashly Speak Evil of Dignities, Nor 
Represent those Called Benefactors as traitors to our Country Byond 
the truth of facts. Nevertheless we would unite our Testimony 
against all the Real Greivances Prescribed for us at this or any future 
Period, and if things Should Eare Long Proceed to an unhappy 
Rupture Betwixt the Mother Country and these Plantations, which 
Heaven forbid, We are Not at Present Much Intimidated with that 
Pompous Boasting on the other Side of the Water, Viz. that Great 
Brittain Could Blow America unto Attorns as we Cosider the Sighs 
of the oppressed & Good Wishes of Milions in the Mother Country 
to the Liberty and Weal Both of themselves and their own flesh, 
their Beloved Americans. We trimble not so much for our Selves in 


that Case in Particular as for the Rehealim in General and lest the 
Pillars of State should fall and we be left to Shift for our Selves with- 
out any Earthly King to Save us. 

But we pray a Merciful Ruler to Avert Such a Judgement and not 
Suffer the things that Belong to the Nations peace to be hide from 
our Eyes so We Remain united with our breathren in the Coirnion 
Cause of American Liberty. 

Robert Hamilton, John Hamilton, Thomas Cochran, David 
CowDEN, George Petteson, Committee. 

Report of Committee Accepted Nov. i6, 1773. 

The above extraordinary document was submitted to the patriotic 
citizens of the town assembled in town meeting at the Meeting 
House on that chill November day, and the record of their action 
follows : — 

"Approved by vote of the town without Contradiction. It was 
also Resolved that the thanks of the town be returned With the 
above to the Said Committee in Boston for their honest faithful 
kind & Patriotit Zeal and Care in Stating our Rights & Showing us 
our Grievances and Giving such timely Notice. 

Also Resolved at the Said Meeting that the Committee be & 
Remain as a Committee to Receive & Lay Before the town any 
further Intelligence that May be at any time Received from Boston 
Respecting our Liberties. 

John Crawford, Moderator. 
Attest John Dick, Town Clerk." 

Meeting, April 7, 1774. 

At a Meeting of the town held on the 7th of April 1774 we find 
the following votes recorded. 

Hugh Johnson was chosen Moderator. 

;^7o voted for support of the Gospel. 

£^0 voted for the support of Schools. 

;^6o voted for Making and Repairing highways. 

Robert Hamilton was allowed five shilling that he lost in John 
Clark's Rats. 

James Gilmore was allowed four shilling for '' Warning Amos 
Whitting and family out of this town." 


George Petteson was allowed 12 shillings "that Docf Jels Creach 
Kelog Charged for one visit to James Hyde in the year 1770." 

Jeremiah Jackson was allowed 2 shillings for a "Warding Staff." 

Daniel Gray was allowed ^^5 — 12s "for going to the Jersey Col- 
lege after a Minister." 

William Fergerson was allowed 12s for taking care of the Meeting 
House the Past year. 

Voted that " Timothy Ingram is Cleared of his Rats that is in 
John Alexander's List." (on account of sickness in his family) 

Meeting, Oct. 3, 1774. 

The town was beginning to feel the pressure of British power 
and resented all attempts at oppression. In a warrant for a meeting 
held on the 3d of October, 1774 was an article reading as follows: 

" To see if the town will make an addition to the Committee of 
Correspondants " and James Harkness, James Halbert, Ebenezer 
Gray and Daniel Gray were added to that Committee. 

The town had been without a settled Minister since the death of 
Rev. Richard Crouch Graham in 177 i and dependent upon " Suply- 
ers," but on the 23d of Nov., 1774 a cali was extended to Rev. Mr. 
Nathaniel Merrill to settle as Minister of the town and ^^70 voted 
in the way of a settlement and _;^8o yearly salary so long as he con- 
tinued as their Gospel Minister. 

Meeting, Dec. 27, 1774. 

A Committee consisting of William Harkness, William Crossett, 
Alexander McCulloch. Hugh Johnson and John Dick was chosen 
and named "A Committee of Inspection" whose duty was to follow 
the instructions of the Continental and Province Congresses. 

Meeting, August 28, 1775. 

It was "Voted that there is Preperation to be made for the Instal- 
ment of the Rev. Mr. Merrill — and that said Preperation be for Min- 
isters and other Gentlemen of Liberal Education, and that there is a 
Committee to be chosen to Provide for Said Gentlemen — said Com- 
mittee is Thomas Cochran, Robert Hamilton and James Hall)ert." 


James Halbert was also chosen assessor at this meeting " In the 
Room of Ebenezer Gray now in the War." 

John Crawford, Moderator, 

Ebenezer Gray is the first town officer of Avhom we find mention of 
being in the war early in 17 75, but that there were men from the town 
at the front early in that year is proven by tire following letter which 
we copy from the original. 

Charlestown, Agust the 4th, 1775. 

Frand Dick these Linds I write to you and your famaly hoping 
that they will find you all Wall as they Lave my Boy and I hart 
hole heer all this time thank God for it and we are all pretty Wall 
that Belongs to Pelham and as for News you must Reed the prants 
because I cannot send you any that is Sarten to Depand upon for 
truth only you Need Not Bee afraid of the Daviel in Pelham this 
Summer for he has his handful to Dow heer and I know that hee is 
ashamed of his under taken Salfridge is wall and Sands his Love to 
all Inquiring frands Capt Cowden Sands his Love to you all ! Excuse 
my writing Sir when you Look on the paper and Reed the above 
Writing So Knovv' more at prasant But I Remain your Loving frand 
and humbul Sarvant. 

John White. 

Waltham Brown is Wall — so no more 

Sir go and Reed the whole to my wife and you will abladge me 

Loving Wife and Children — I hope that these will find you all 
wall as they Lave us — I must Bee Short! gat 2 or 3 Bushel of Solt as 
quick as you Can for it will Bee Deer and what the Barn will Not 
Winter the Sailer Sail and give them as good a Chance as you Can 
and as for my Coming home I Can Not if you Sant ten men in my 
Room — Do as wall as you Can So No more at prasant But I am 
your Loving Husban till Dath 

John White 

From this above interesting letter we learn that at the time it was 
written all the men belonging in Pelham were well, which leaves us to 
infer that there was quite a company of Pelham men at Charlestown. 
Probably Capt. Cowden and his company of Pelham men were there. 

Committee of Safety Chosen. 

March 29, 1776, a Committee of Safety was chosen. Thomas 
Cochran, John Hamilton, George Petteson, Ebenezer Gray, Peter 
Bennett, Daniel Gray and James Dunlap constituted this committee. 


Jonathan Gray was allowed £1 14s expense money for bringing up 
Mr. Merrill and family, — and Widow Hamilton was allowed £2 2s 
for the journey of her late husband to the Presbyterie. 

William Conkey was allowed ^i for conveying provisions to 
Watertown, which without doubt were for the support of soldiers 
from the town, or others in the army. 

Up to about this time the selectmen in directing the constables to 
warn the voters of a Town Meeting had used the following form : 


To John Rinkin & Eliot Gray Constables of the town of Pelham within 
the County of Hampshire Greeting. You are hereby required to warn & 
give Notice to all the freeholders and other inhabitants of the town of Pel- 
ham Duly Qualified to vote in town affairs to meet togither on the 31 Day 
of Dec Current to act upon the following Particulars &c. 

William Harkness, Hugh Johnsox, Joxathan Gray & James 
DuNLAP, Selectmen of Pelham. 
Dec. 23. 1776. 

The tirst appearance of the new form Avas at the next recorded 
meeting and was as follows : 
Hampshire ss. 

To Mr Eliot Gray & John Rinkin Constables of the town of Pelham 
within the County of Hampshire Greeting — You are in the name of the 
People & Stats of the Bay Colony to warn and give Notice to all the free- 
holders and other inhabitants of the town of Pelham Qualified to vote in 
town affairs to assemble and meet togither on Monday the 17 Day of March 

Dated at Pelham, March 3, 1777. 

William Harkxess, Hugh Johxsox, Joxathax Gray, James 
DuxLAP, Selectmen of Pelham. 

The form was soon changed to read — " In the name of the people 
of the state of Massachusetts Bay" or "In the name of the people 
of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay " etc. 

Under date of Jan. 7, 1776 and with the underwritten marginal 
note we find the following : 

Haxd Bill from the Court for Ixdepexdexcy. 

In the House of Representatives.— A resolve of the late House of Repre- 
sentatives Passed on the tenth of May. 1776 that the Inhabitants of each 
town in this Colony ought in full meeting warned for that Purpose, to 
Advise the Person or Persons who should be Chosen to Represent them in 
the Nixt Genrul Court, Whether, Should the Honorable Congress for the 
Safety of the Colonies Declare them Independents of the Kingdom of 


Great Brittain, they, tlie Said Inhabitants will Solemnly Engage With 
themselves and fortunes to support them in the Measure, and. Whereas said 
Resolve though Published in the Public News Papers yet it has since Been 
Manifest to the Present House that Some Actions in said Colony were not 
so Seasonably favored with the said Points as to have it in their Power to 
Instruct their Representative Agreable to Advice in said Resolve had they 
so Minded. So that the General Assembly are unable to Collect the Senti- 
ments of Many towns in said Colony on so Interesting & Important a Sub- 
ject & as towns who had Seasonable Notice Have given their Representa- 
tives Instructions to Comply fully with the late House aforesaid Whose 
number to the honor of their Constituents are Very Numerous, and as some 
of the United Colonies have of late Bravely Refused to subject themselves 
to the tyranical yoke of Great Brittain any longer by Declaring for Inde- 
pendence — therefore Resolved, as the opinion of this House that such towns 
as have not Complied with the Resolve Aforesaid Whither they are Repre- 
sented or not, duly warn a town Meeting for such purpose as soon as may 
be. that their sentimets may be fully known to this House agreeable to 
fermore Resolve of the late House of Representatives & that one hundred 
& fifty hand bills be forthwith Printed and Sent to such towns for the Pur- 
pose aforesaid. By Order of the House : T. Warren, Speaker. 
■ By order of this hand Bill We Have Warned & Given Notice to the 
Inhabitants of Pelham East & West of the Cross Road Qualified to vote in 
town affairs to meet according to orders. 
Pelham, June the Eighteenth, 1776. 

Elliot Gray & John Rinken, Constables. 

Meeting, June 20, 1776. 

Record of the above warned meeting : 

" Att a meeting of the freeholders & other Inhabitants of the town 
of Pelham meet and Assembled togither on Thursday the twentieth 
day of June 1776 then meet and first was Chosen Daniel Gray, 
Moderator. Secondly, Voted by Unanimous Vote that we are willing 
to Come Under Independuncy from under the yoke of the King of 
Great Brittain, Provided the Contnental Congress see fite in their 
Wisdom to Establish Independence in the Colonies for their Safety. 

Daniel Gray, Moderator. 

That the town had already quite a number of men in the army is 
shown by action in town meeting on Dec. 31, 1776, when Abizer 
Edson and Andrew Abercrombie were chosen assessors " in room of 
John Hamilton and James Caldwell McMuUen Gone to the War." 

James Caldwell McMullen and Rev. Richard Crouch Graham are 
the first names that appear on the records with what is commonly 


known as a middle name up to this time. Hitherto no ink was 
wasted in writing out long names upon the books and there was no 
ambitious desire to bestow such names upon the children born to the 
early settlers. There was not a man among them that was hampered 
with a middle name. James or John was a common name and con- 
sidered enough to place before any surname, consequently the 
appearance of the middle name must be noticed as an innovation. 
If attention is given to this matter it will be noticed that the middle 
name did not increase very fast and there were very few up to 1800 
and beyond that date. 

From 1777 to 1786. 

Valuation of Property for Taxation Established 1777. — Rev. Mr. 
AlerrilPs Appeal 177Q. — Large Increase of Salary 1780. — 
Measures Taken to Secure Men for the Army 1780. — Bounties 
Offered. — Action Taken to Procure Beef for the Army 1781. — 
Daniel Shays on Committee of Safety 1781. — Selectmen Refuse 
to Call a Town Meeting 1782. — Tying to Settle With the Three 
and Six Months Men 1783. — Allozvance to Soldiers in the Late 
War 178s. — The Town Votes to Have a Bank of Paper Money 
Made 1786. 

April 14, 1777. "It was voted that the East Hill School Quarter 
be divided Into two Squadrens Provided they build their School- 
houses on their own Cost Without any treble or Cost to the town." 

William Crossett " Was allowed £\ for Carring Down Provisions 
to the army at Cambridge " and Hugh Johnson, Abraham Livermore 
and Alexander Conkey were each allowed the same amount for the 
same errand and journey. 



town meeting records. 133 

Meeting, May 12, 1777. 

"May 12, 1777, it was Voted that there is ;^i8 allowed to each 
man that Will Inlist in the Continental service for three years,'' but 
at an adjourned meeting this vote was " Recaled " and it was "voted 
that all those men which have served Personally or Engaged a man 
in the Service of the United Stats shall have Credit for so many 
months as they have served or engaged in said service." 

Hugh Johnson was moderator at a meeting Dec. 23, 1777, when 
the valuation of property for taxation was fixed. 

20s. was laid on each acre of home lot not improved, los. laid on 
each acre of third division, 15s. on each acre in second division, and 
the valuation of personal property for taxation was as follows : 

" One pair of oxen four years old is 


Cows at three years old. 

£ 6 

Steers at three years old, 

£ 6 

Steers and Heifers at three years old, 

£ 4 

Yearlings at 

£ 2 


£ I 

Horses at three years old. 


Colts at two years, 

£ 6 

Yearling Colts, 

£ 4 

Spring Colts, 

£ 2 

One Sheep, 


Mr. Merrill's Salary Increased. 

April 14, 1777, ^60 was added to Mr. Merrill's salary in 1778, 
and the next vote recorded was that rams be shut up from the first 
of August till the fifteenth of November yearly. 

Meeting, May 15, 1778. 

May 15, 1778, "^92-i3s.-2d. was granted for Clothing sent to 
the Contental Soldiers, to be assessed in the first Assessment assesed 
by the Assessors." 

Meeting Jan. 24, 1779, is thus recorded : 

" John Crawford, Moderator. Voted that this meeting be 
adjourned to the House of Joseph Packard, Inholder. Voted that 
the Arms Coming from Boston be sold at Public Vendue to the 
Highes Bidder, None to bide But the training band & Larm list. 


Voted that the Ammonition be Divided Equally. Voted that the 
steel be cut in Pound Peices & Sold at Public Vendue to the Highes 

Meeting, March 29, 1779. 

The money of the country had evidently become very much depre- 
ciated, for at a meeting March 29, 1779, ^100 was voted for schools 
in place of ;^30 for the years previous and it was voted that each 
pole be allowed $5 per day on the roads. ;^2 5o was voted for 
repairing the roads where ;/J'6o had been the usual sum in previous 

At the adjourned meeting on the same warrant it was also "Voted 
April 16, 1779, that the town has agreed to have a new Constitution 
formed, also Voted that they empower there Representative to vote 
for the calling of a state Constitutional Convention for forming a new 
Constitution. William Crossett, Moderator." 

Meeting, May 12, 1779. 

In a warrant for a town meeting called for May 12, 1779, the fol- 
lowing articles appear after the one for choosing moderator. 

'• Secondly : To see if the town will Recall there Vote of April 16 in add- 
ing Sixty Pound to Rev. Mr. Merrills yearly Sallery as we think it is not 
sufficient to Mentain a Gentleman and his family. 

Thirdly : If the town Recall Said vote to see what Honorable addition 
the town will Pleas to add to his yearly sallerry. 

Fourthly: To see if the town will Allow Money for those families Which 
there Men Are Gone into the Service." 

The record of the action of the town upon this w^arrant is not long 
but was decisive. On the second article it was "voted to recall the 
vote of April 16 of the same year in adding ;/^6o to Rev. Mr. Merrills 
sallery for the present year." 

" Thirdly, Voted that there is four Hundred and twenty Pound 
added to the Rev. Mr. Merrils Sallery. 

Lastly Voted, that there is Nothing Acted on the Last Article of 
the Warrant. Daniel Gray, ]\Ioderator." 

The warrant for a meeting on the 4th day of June of the same year 
is interesting and is addressed to Mr. James Peibols and Reuben 


Lotheridge, Constables. The first article is to choose a moderator, 
and other articles in the following order: 

Secondly to See if the town Will make an Addition of Two Hundred & 
fifty Pound to the Highway Rate as we suppose there is Some Misunder- 
standing in the former vote, or if note the Above Sum, any other Sum the 
town shall think Proper. 

Thirdly, to See if the town Recall there Vote of the twelth of this Instant 
Granting the Rev. Mr. Merrill four Hundred & twenty Pound Addition to 
His Sallery for this present year as it is very burdensome to many who are 
Groning under Heavy taxes Already. 

Forthly to See if they Will Agree to Mak the Addition by a Volentry 
Superscription for no one Can Dout but how (who) have been so free for 
laying it on in a tax will be as free in thare Superscription— so that there 
Dear Brethren May Riceive the two Above Articles is at the Requist of a 
Number of the Freeholders of Pelham. 

Fifthly— if the town will Recall the third article of this Warrant & Don't 
act on the forth Article, to see what Honorable Addition the town will be 
Pleased to Make to the Rev Mr Merrills Stated Sallery for this Present 

Hereof fail Not and Make Return to one of us the subscribers sometime 
before Said Meeting. Given under our Hands and Seal Datid at Pelham 
May the 26 one thousand Seven hundred & Seventy Nine & in the fourth 
year of Independence. 

Hugh Johnson, Joseph Packard, Jonathan Hood, 

Selectmen of Pelham. 

Daniel Gray was chosen moderator and further action under this 
above warrant follows: Under second article, "Voted that there is 
Five hundred and fifty Pound Granted by Way of addition to the 
Two Hundred & thirty Granted for Repairing the Highways for the 
Present year. 

Thirdly, Voted that there is nothing acted on the third article of 
the Warrant. Daniel Gray, Moderator." 

It will be seen that the third and fourth articles were practically 
ignored and the former vote of £Go addition to Mr. Merrill's salary 
having been recalled, because it was believed to be much too small 
an addition, the newly settled minister Avas left with only the original 
salary voted at the time of his being called, the additional appropria- 
tion of £j,-o with the currency much depreciated, and the addition 
was not paid for a long time. 

Meeting, June 25, 1779. 
This town meeting had nothing to do with tninisters' salaries or 
highway matters but upon more important and pressing business. 


The meeting was warned to meet at the meeting house, June 25, 
1779, and there were only two business articles in the warrant after 
the one for choosing a presiding officer. 

Article Second. To see if the town will come into any Method to inable 
Commition officers to Raise Men for the Contenantal .Service & for the 

Thirdly to see if the town will Come Into any Method to Make an Equal- 
ity throughout said town by assessment or any other Method they shall 
think Proper. 

Action on the second article of the foregoing warrant : — " Voted 
that the town is Come Into a Method to Assess a sum of Money to 
Raise the Present Quota of men to be paid by those that are Delin- 
quent in order to bring Every Individual upon a Proper Everidge, — 
the tax and other Charges to be Raised in the Common Method of 
Town Charges. 

Thirdly. Voted that there is a committee to be Chosen to Assist 
the Militia Officers in Hiring Men to go into the Contenintel & 
Militia Service. 

Forthly. Voted that there is five men to be Chosen as a Commit- 
tee to find those men. Said Committee is Daniel Gray, Samuel 
Hyde, John Rinken, Andrew Abercrombie & William Dunlap. 

Hugh Johnson, Moderator." 

Meeting, Aug. 16, 1779. 

The warrant for a town meeting on the i6th of August, 1779, had 
the following articles : 

" Secondly, to see if the town will agree to Send a Delgate to Cambridge 
for the Sole Porpuse of forming a New Constitution, said Convintion is to 
Sit on the first Day of Sept. Nixt. 

Thirdly, to see if they will chuse a Man or Men to take Into Consideration 
the Prices of Marchandise and Contry Produce and to Make such Regula- 
tions as they shall think Proper to Act on. 
Hugh Johnson, Josi-:ph Packard & George Petteson, Selectmen." 

Action on the second article resulted as per record: "Voted that 
Joseph Packard is Chosen a Delegate to Go to Cambridge to Sit in 
Convintion for the Sole Purpose of forming a New Constitution. 

Forthly. Voted there is nothing acted on the third article. 

JosiAH Dunpak, Moderator." 

town meeting records. t37 

Meeting, Aug. 27, 1779. 

A meeting called on Aug. 27, 1779, was for action on less impor- 
tant matters than matters of state and was to see if the town would 
stand up behind its constables who had sold land for taxes. 

The second article explains : " To see if the town will support 
Adam Clark Gray and Mathew Gray, Constables, in an action Com- 
menced against them by Obediah Dickinson of Hatfield for Selling 
some of his Land for taxes." 

" Thirdly, to see if the town will chuse a man as Delegate or Delegates to 
Go to Northampton to meet a County Convintion in order to state the 
Prices of Such County Produce & Marchandise as shall come before them 
— and any other article that the town shall think Proper when Assembled." 

The tow^n ignored the second article which involved the constables 
by a record as follows : " Voted that there is nothing acted on the 
second article." 

" Thirdly — Voted that Thomas Johnson is Chosen a Delegate in 
Behalf of said town to meet the Convintion at Northampton the Sec- 
ond Wednesday of September Nixt. 

Forthly — Voted that there is a Committee to be chosen to state 
the Pricese of Articles, — Said Committee is Thomas Johnson, Peter 
Bennet, John Rinkin, Timothy Packard & Mathew Clark. 

Hugh Johnson, Moderator." 

Meeting, Sept. 27, 1779. 

The town was called together on the 27th of September. 1779, to 
act on the following business : 

"Article Second to see if the town will accept the Resolves of the Con- 
vintion in Regard of Stating the Prices of Contry Produce or Not if they 
Do to order the Committee Chosen to state the same in this town. 

Thirdly :— To see if the town will Chuse a delegate to Go to Concord to- 
a State Convintion for to sit there on the Second Wensday of October Nixt 
in order to State the Prices of Marchandise and Other Contry Produce. 

Forthly to see if the town Will come into Any Method to Inable the 
Selectmen to Provide Money to Get the Contenental Cloathing & any other 
Article they shall think Proper when assembled." 

The town acted as follows : " Secondly, Voted that the town has 
Excepted the Prices of Sundry articles that the Convintion that meet 
at Northampton agreed on. 

Third'y. Voted that Capt David Cowden is Chosen a delegate ta 


Represent the town at the Convintion to Meet at Concord the Second 
Wensday of October Nixt. 

Forthly Voted that the Selectmen are allowed to Draw Money 
out of the treasury to pay for Soldiers Clothing. 

Isaac Gray, Moderator." 

Meeting, Dec. 10, 1779. 

On the loth of December, 1779, the town was called to act upon 
" the following Particulars at the Request of Rev Mr Merrill, the fol- 
lowing articles with the Reasons are Set Down &c." 

" Secondly, As I have Disposed of My farm to have the Advice of the 
town as to Laying out my Money ornot for Another to there Satisfaction. 

Thirdly, to know the Will and Pleasure of the town Respecting my stay- 
ing among them or not, I think its Noised by some as if it was not Desired, 
Maks me uneasy Not being Willing to Crowd upon any People and as my 
State is now at Such Looss Ends to Determine my mind about laying out 
my money. 

Forthly — if it the Pleasure of the town I should Stay to Know what the 
town is Willing Chearfully to vote for my Support towards making up my 
Sallery for the Insuing year as I am unwilling to take it but from Chearful 
Givers & if they are Willing to Make up my sallery as they have Mr Wil- 
liams and Mr Baldwins and others I will be as free that they shall take out 
my Proportionable Part of Extrorny Charges so that I be no more Eurden- 
som than when I first Came amongst them, and as 1 think its said by some 
as if they were Deceived on aCount of my familys Circumstances and tho 1 
did What I could that they might not be Decieved even then so I am Wil- 
Jing if they are Dissatisfied that they should act thare Pleasure. Now 
Undecieved about it & and as my Last years Sallery is out Sometime Past 
& the money about spent togither with Sum Hundreds of Pounds put in of 
my Personal Estate. 

Fifthly, to see what the town will alow Adam Clark Gray and Mathew 
Gray, Constables, to Compleat the Loss they have sustained by the Seal 
(sale) of Leu'' Dickinsons land." 

Action on this warrant follows : " Voted, that there is nothing 
acted on the second article of this warrant. 

Thirdly — Voted that there is four hundred and twenty Pound 
voted as an Addition to the Rev Mr Merrills Sallery for the Present 

Forthly Voted that there is nothing allowed Adam Clark Gray & 
Mathew Gray Relating to the Case Between Leu" Dickinson and 
Iheni. Capt John Thompson, Moderator." 


While the town seems to have been negligent in pajang Rev. Mr. 
Merrill's salary promptl}', and it had forced him to draw upon per- 
sonal funds for the support of himself and family, it must be remem- 
bered that the struggle for liberty was going on in the land, and 
every town in the state, including Pelham, were straining every nerve 
to furnish their respective quota of men and supplies ; taxation was 
frequent and heavy to raise money to meet the many and various 
heavy expenses of a public nature, and it is not strange that some of 
the demands for money were not met as promptly as they should 
have been. That the minister's salary was behind some of the time 
is not surprising although the support of the Gospel was considered 
one of the most important duties resting upon them as a community. 

The appeal of Rev. Mr. Merrill to the town as recorded in the 
foregoing warrant for a town meeting was evidently carefully consid- 
ered and the prompt action of the people in town meeting assembled 
was undoubtedly most satisfactory to Rev. Mr. Merrill and is cer- 
tainly a most agreeable record for us whose eyes are permitted to 
scan the faded record more than one hundred years after the record- 
ing officer spread it upon the book. 

Another Middle Name. 

Adam Clark Gray is the third name that appears on the books up 
to this time with the middle name or initial. This particular Gray 
and Matthew Gray were constables of the town and in some unex- 
plained way had involved themselves in loss of money by selling 
lands of Lieut. Obadiah Dickinson of Hatfield for unpaid taxes. An 
article in the foregoing warrant was to see if the town would allow 
money to these public servants to remunerate them for their loss in 
the service of the town but the constables were doubtless chagrined 
and perhaps angered when the voters refused to act upon the article 
in their interest. They did not give up the fight for their rights how- 
ever, for in the very next warrant for a Town Meeting appeared an 
article calling upon the town to act upon this claim of the two Grays, 
constables. Another article in the same warrant was " To see if the 
town will Come Into some Safe Method in order to Stop the Collec- 
tion of the last tax Come to Pelham from the State Treasurer for the 
Present as we Suppose a part of it to Rise from the Distribution 
Fleet at Pennobscut, or any other article the town shall think Proper 


to Act on Relation to the same." The meeting was held Jan. 28, 
1780. The selectmen were chosen a committee to settle with the two 
Grays, constables, thus proving that persistence in the right is the 
safe course. " Lastly voted that there is nothing acted on the last 
Article of the Warrant. 

John Thompson, Moderator." 

Meeting Feb. 18, 1780. 

The next Meeting was called for Feb. 18, 17S0, and the second 
article was " To see what Method the town vvill Come into to pay the 
tax and Charges that has Arisen on thirteen lots that was Assessed 
and put into Reubin Lotheridges Constables hands to Collect and no 
Person Appearing to pay the taxes the Said Reuben Lotheridge 
posted said Lots for Seal as the law Directs, but Could not sell 

" Hugh Johnson was Chosen Moderator and it was voted that 
there is a man or men to be Chosen to Purches those Lots that Can't 
be Sold by the Constable at Vendue, Said Committee is Isaac Gray 
tSc William Dunlap. This Meeting is Continued by Agreement to 
the House of Mr. Abercrombie at four of the Clock in the After- 
noon, — Meet according to the above adjourment and first voted to 
pay the tax & Charge that May Arise on the Lots Aftermentioned to 
wite Third Division No 37, 17, 16, 14, 7, 5, 2. Second Division 31 
Third Division No. 47 and Intervening Charges that shall or may 
arise on Said Lots for the space of three years and to take the Con- 
stables Discharges if now owner appears wdthin said term of time." 

Adjourned Meeting. 

At a meeting on March 23, 17S0 " Three thousand pounds was 
allowed for Repairing of the High Ways the present year." 

This shows how much depreciation there had been in the value of 
the Currency up to this time. It was also "voted that there is 
^2000 added to Rev Mr Merrills ^^500 for the Present year." 

The New Constitution Submitted to the People of Pelham, 
May 9, 1780. 

In the warrant for a town meeting. May 9, 1780, was one article 
after the one for choice of a Moderator which was as follows : 


Secondly to see What sanction the Town Will Put on the New form of 
Government or Constitution, or any other article the town Shall think 
Proper to Act on. 

Hugh Johnson, Jacob Edson 
Thomas Johnson, Samuel Hyde 
John Rixken," Selectmen. 

The meeting" was called at 9 o'clock in the forenoon and William 
Crossett was chosen Moderator. 

About the Second article we find this record : — " Secondly — that 
there is a Committee to be Chosen to Inquire into the New Con- 
stitution said Committee is Doct Robert Cutler, John Thomson, 
Thomas Johnston, John (Crawford, and John Hamilton. This Meet- 
ing is continued till five aclock in the afternoon of said Day May 9'^ 
then Meet a Cording to Said adjournment & Continued by a Second 
adjournment till Monday the twenty Second day of Said May Cor- 
rant at ten of the Clock in the forenoon to Recieve the Report of 
Said Committee With Regard to the New Constitution. Meet 
according To appointment & first Voted that this Meeting is 
adjourned for one Hour to the Meeting house. 

Meet & first Voted that Each Pole at the age of Sixteen years & 
Upwards His a Right to Vote for there officers. Secondly — Voted 
that the New Constitution is Concord With Agreeble to the Com- 
mittees Remarks on the same. 

William Croset, Moderator." 

The above record shows that the people of the town promptly 
accepted the new constitution and placed themselves in line with all 
other patriotic communities in the state. 

The meeting of May 22, 1780, was for the choice of a man to 
represent the town at the great and general court which was to 
assemble at Boston on the last Wednesday of May, and Capt. John 
Thompson was chosen to represent the town for the session of 1780. 

Meeting, June 15, 1780. 

June 15, 1780, the town was called together to consider the ques- 
tion of taking a new Valuation of the " Rale and Personal Estate," 
and the Assessors were instructed to go from " House to House 
Round the whole town and make a new valuation." 

Another important ciuestion for consideration was the choice of a 
"Committee of Safety" and John Thompson, Isaac Gray, Andrew 


Abercrombie, Timothy Packard and John Maklem were chosen to 
act in this capacity. 

Isaac Gray was Moderator. 

The town had been called upon to furnish more men for the army, 
but just how many is not stated in the record, but a town meeting 
was called on the 20"' of June, 1780. 

" To see what Method the town Will Come into to Raise the Men 
now Caled for into the Service. Thirdly, to see what encourage- 
ment the town Will Give Said men." 

The action of the town upon this warrant was peculiar. 

After choosing John Thompson Moderator there was an adjourn- 
ment for '' one Houre " and on reassembling " voted that the Delin- 
quents Raise the Present Cotow of Men Called for." "Also voted 
that James Pebles is allowed the Rats of that Land that Reuben 
Lotheridge sold at Public Vendue. Lastly, Voted that there is No 
Credit to be Sold by any man in the town." 

The delinquents were to raise the men called for, and nothing 
seems to have been done to encourage them to enlist. 

Meeting July 3, 1780. 

The warrant for the Meeting held July 3, 1780, at one -o'clock in 
the afternoon gives information as to the number of men the town 
had been called upon to furnish. 

The language of the warrant follows: " Secondly- — as the General 
Court has Called in the Most Pressing Manner for the town of Pel- 
ham to Raise Seventeen men more than was first Required and as 
those that Were Indeted are brought Principly to the Present Aver- 
ige, to see What Method the town will take to Raise said Men and 
any other article the town Shall think proper to act upon." 

The action of the town upon this warrant in answer to the pressing 
demands of the General Court for more men we copy from the rec- 
ord : " Voted that men be Raised for the War by Pole & Real & 
Personal Estate for the Futter as other taxes is Raised. Fifthly 
voted that the Selectmen is Impowered to Heire the Contenental 
Soldiers as Chape as they Can — Either in Speci or Silver or Con- 
tenentel Money. 

Joseph Packard, Moderator." 


It was not an easy matter for the selectmen to raise the number of 
men the General Court had demanded as the town was called 
together again August 24, 1780, to act upon the matter of filling the 
quota of men, — and the question was placed before them in the fol- 
lowing form : 

"Secondly — To see what Directions the town Will Give the Selectmen 
Concerning two Six months men they Cannot Raise by Hire nor by Draft- 
ing. Thirdly to See what Method the town will come into to Raise Money 
to Procure Clothing for tlie Army." 

The meeting was at once adjourned after choosing Joseph Packard 
Moderator, to the 6"' of September at nine o'clock a. m. and on 
assembling on that day it was " Voted that there is twenty-five 
pound Granted to Buy Shirts, Stokens and Blankets for the Support 
of the Army. 

Secondly, Voted that the town Stock of Powder that is come to 
the town is to be sold out Both to the training Band and Larmlist. 

Thirdly Voted that John Bruce is allowed three hundred &: four 
Pound Sixteen Shilling for Lodging the Ministers Presbyterie Time. 

Fourthly — Voted that Joseph Packard is Allowed two Hundred & 
Sixty four Pound six shilling for tending the Convention at Boston. 

Joseph Packard, Moderator." 

FiRsr Governor Election, Sept. 4, 17S0. 

The Meeting for the choice of the first Governor under the new 
constitution was held on the fourth day of September, 17S0 and is 
of interest as it shows the number of votes cast in the town. The 
result of the balloting is copied from the report of the meeting. 

'' Made choice of the Honorable John Handcock Esq Governor 
for the Ensuing year by a full vote containing Sixty one votes. 

Made choice of the Honorable James Bowdoin to be Leu' Gover- 
nor & his son rly seven vots Mr. Samuel Adams two vots. Made 
choice of Con' Bliss of Wilbreham Noah Goodman of South Hadley 
Caleb Strong of Northampton Doctor Mathers of Westfield each 
forty Vots for Counclors." 

The stirring times did not allow the people much rest ; there were 
calls for men, for clothing and other supplies all the time. 

Oct. 20, 1780 the town voted as follows: " Voted that the town 
has Agreed to Procure the beef that is sent for. 


Thirdly — Voted that there is a committee to be Chosen to Procure 
Said Beef. Said Committee is Caleb Keeth, Mathew Clark & John 

Voted that the Remainder of the old Stock that is at William 
Blairs house be sold at Publick Vendue this Ivining. Also Voted 
Andrew Abercrombie is to have the Care of what is left of the New 
Stock, — this meeting is continued till tusday nixt at three of the 
Clock in the afternoon at the Meeting house of said town to Receive 
the Report of Said Committee. 

Voted that the Above Committee is to take care of the Cattle they 
have Purchased & Deliver them to the Commisery. 

Joseph Packard, Moderator." 

The raising of the quota of men called for had not been accom- 
plished as we judge by action taken at a meeting held Dec. 21, 1780 
when it was 

" Voted that there be a Committee chosen to Procure these Men 
Called for — said Committee is Daniel Gray, David Cowdin & 
Nathaniel Samson." 

The Meeting adjourned to Jan. 4, 1781 to hear and act upon the 
report of this committee when it was 

" Voted, that there is fifty Shilling pr Month Granted by the town 
as a Bounty agreeable to the Court Act. Ray at three & four pence 
pr Bushel or Money Equivalent thereto to Each Soldier that will 
Inlist for three years or During the War. 

Secondly — Capt Daniel Gray was chosen to Represent the town 
at the Convintion at Northampton Provided said Convintion . Do 

Daniel Gray Moderator." 

Meeting Jan. 18, 17S1. 

A meeting held January 18, 1781 had one important article in the 
warrant as follows : 

" To see wliat xMethod the town will take to Procure the beef Required of 
tliis town Agreeable to the Act of the General Court Deated Dec'' the 
fourth one thousand seven hundred and eighty, or anj- other article the town 
Shall think Proper when Assembled. 

Daniel Gray was Chosen Moderator, and Secondly. '•\'oted that 
there be a man Chosen to Go to Northampton to Enquire of the 


Commisary what they Give pr Hundred In Money or Grain for 

Thirdly Voted that Capt Daniel Gray is Chosen a Committee man 
to Go to Northampton to Enquire at the Commisary the Price of 
Grain & how he will Change for Beef. This Meeting is continued 
till the twenty -fifth of this Instant. Meet and then it was voted that 
there is three hundred & Nine Pound Granted to Procure the Beef 
for the Continental Army." 

Meeting, Feb. 26, 1781. 

At a Meeting held on Monday the 26"' day of February, 17S1 it was 

"Voted that there is ;^i2 0o continental Money Granted for the 
Support of the Gospel. 

Thirdly that Hugh Johnston is allowed for Assessing Rats twenty 
nine days ^^"230 and John Rinken ^208 for twenty six days assessing 

Fourthly — John Conkey is allowed fourty five Pound for taking 
Care of the Meetinghouse the past year. Ebenezer Gray allowed £c,o 
for being treasurer the past year. John Maklem & Kaleb Keeth are 
each allowed £2, 7s for purchasing the beef for the Army. 

Adjourned to the 5"' day of March 1781 and then Chose John 
Thompson, Samuel Hyde, Jonathan Hood, John Rinkin and Andrew 
Abercrombie a Committee to "Settle the Everidge" — also voted that 
ye former Committee viz Daniel Gray, David Cowden, Nathaniel 
Samson is freed from Being a Committee to Raise Men for the War. 

Joseph Packard, Moderator." 

The meeting of March 5, 1781, was the Annual Meeting for the 
choice of officers and little other business was done. 

Anjourned to the 9"' day of March when Jonathan Hood, John 
Thompson, Daniel Sheas and Aaron Gray were Chosen as the "Com- 
mittee of Safety." 

The record of this Annual Meeting is notable from the fact that 
the name of Daniel Sheas, or Shays, appears for the first time on the 
town books in the capacity of a town officer, and shows that the man 
who a few years later was to become the leader of a remarkable rebel- 
lion against the state government, was a citizen of the town for quite 
a number of years before the discontent took the form of open rebel- 

146 history of pelham, mass. 

Meeting, Mar. 22, 1781. 

;/^6ooo was voted for the repairing of highways. It was also 
"Voted that there vote of Dec. 21, 1780 granting the Soldiers to be 
Raised fifty Shilling per Month the old way is' Recald by said town. 
— Voted that the Assessors is to Class the town into ten Classes to 
Raise the Soldiers as Called for. Also Voted y" one of the Com- 
mittee of Safety meet the Convention at Hatfield the twenty seventh 
of March Corrant. John Crawford, Moderator." 

On the 18th of May, 1781, there was a town meeting when it was 
" Voted twenty three Hundred and twelve pound ten shillings old 
Contenental Money to be Assessed to Enable the treasurer to Settle 
with Rev. Mr. INIerrill." 

Meeting, July 17, 1781. 

The warrant for a meeting, July 17, 1781, had the following 
important articles : 

'■ To see what Measure the Town will Take in the order to Rase four 
thousand two hundred and thirty nine pounds of Beef for the Army as quick 
as it is Called for in the Court Orders. Also to warn a Meeting to be held 
on said Day at three o'clock afternoon at the same place of all the Mail 
Poals of twenty one years old and upwards to Make choice of Militie officers 
that is wanting in said town Acording to the New Constitution." 

The above is written in a different hand-writing from records of 
former meetings, all having been in substantially the same hand 
almost from the incorporation of the town, John Dick having served 
as town clerk thirty-five years. 

Action upon the above article concerning beef was as follows : 
" Voted to Rase the Beef sent for by the Court — thirdly voted that 
there shall be a Committee to purchis said beef. Committee is 
Caleb Keaith, Alexander Berry and John McLeane. 

Forthly Voted Seventy five Pound in hard Money or Grain Equiv- 
olent thereto to Enabel the above mentioned Committee to Purchis 
the above mentioned Beef. 

Fifthly, Voted that the Bounty Granted for the six and three 
months men by the Court which served in the year 1780 shall be 
assessed. John Thompson, Moderator." 

• Meeting, July 25, 1781. 

" Voted to Raise Hard money to Purchis the Sixth part of Beef 
now called for. 


Thirdly voted to Raise Hard Money to Purchis the Second Sixth 
part of s' Beef. Caleb Keith, Moderator." 

At a meeting July 30, 178 1, there were important articles in the 
warrant, among them this one : 

" To see if the town will reconsider a vote passed April Last to Raise 
^2312 IDS Contenantal Money to Redeem a Note Given to Mr Merrill by 
the Treasurer." 

The town assembled and Joseph Packard was chosen moderator. 
The meeting was then continued to Friday, the 3d of August. 
Assembled as per adjournment, and another continuance or adjourn- 
ment was voted for " teen Minits " to Landlord Samson's in said 
town. What this special adjournment to the tavern of Landlord 
Samson's was for does not appear on the record. We only know 
that there was such an adjournment and on reassembling they passed 
the following vote, and this is all that resulted. "Voted thirty 
Pounds to be assessed in Hard Money for the supply of the Pulpit.'' 
This indicates that Mr. Merrill had been dismissed. 

There was a town meeting on the 27 th of August, 1781, with the 
following articles in the warrant : 

"Secondly, To see what the town will do Concerning Raising the Remain- 
der Part of the Beef called for by the General Court. 

Thirdly, to see if the town will Reconsider a vote Passed to Divide the 
town into two Compenys or Divide in any other Method that the town shall 
see fit — Also to warn Both the Train Band and Larm List that they appear 
at time and Place to Chuse officers." 

" Voted that the Committee formerly Chosen to Purchis the Beef 
last Caled for from the Court is to give thare Obligations for Hard 
Money for s'' Beef. 

Thirdly, Voted forty Shillings per hundred for the above Mentioned 
Beef if it cant be Purchased under. 

Forthly — Voted to Recal a vote Pased on the 17''' of July Last of 
Seventy five Pound Hard Money or Grain Equivolent to Purchis 

Meeting, Oct. 25, 1781. 

The voters were called together again on the 25 th of October, 
1 78 1, to consider the question of beef and the six and three months' 
men. The warrant asked for action on the following particulars : 

•• Secondly to see what Method the Town will take in order to Purchis the 
Beef that is Delinquent for the year 1781." 


" Voted to Chuse a man to Go to the Superintendant to see about 
an Execution supposed to be Against the Town for Beef. 

Secondly Voted Nathaniel Samson to be the Man. 

Voted to Rase the Beef Called for by the Superintendant that he 
has a Execution against the town for. 

Secondly Voted that Doc' Nehemiah Hinds be a Committee Man 
to Purchis s' Beef. 

Voted that this meeting is continued by adjournment twenty 
Minits to Landlord Bruce''. — Meet According to Adjournment and 
Voted &: Chose John Bruce to Hire a three years Man to serve in 
the Continental Army for the town of Pelham. 

Caleb Keith, Moderator." 

Nov. 28, 1 78 1, the town was called together and after voting that 
"the Selectmen shall not Give out Orders to the six and three month' 
men — and that then- shall be a Average — the meeting was Continued 
to the 12"' of Dec at nine o'clock in the morning, when it was voted 
that the Average shall be from the Beginning of the War. 

Secondly Voted that the Average shall be Settled by a Committee 
out of town Said Committee to be Daniel Shaw of New Salem, Capt 
Isaac Powers of Grenidge, and Capt Metoon of Amherst. 

Voted that the orders for Raising the six and three months men 
Shall be Precured and Red in the town, and that Doct Nehemiah 
Hinds Procure the above mentioned orders. 

Voted that the Average Money shall be settled according to Debt 
and Credit. Nehemiah Hinds, Moderator." 

Meetino, Jan. 9, 1782. 

"Fifthly, Voted Not to Allow Credit Dun in other towns to be 
Brought into the Averege. 

Sixthly, Voted that those New comers that have Cominto the town 
of Pelham During this Present Ware Shall be Looked upon an 
Equateble Level at the time of there Coming in with the Inhabitants 
of s' town Respecting Services Dun in this Present War. 

Seventhly Voted to Chuse a Committee to take the Credit and 
Settle the Average in Case it Give Satisfaction to the town, if not to 
be Left to the former Committee out of town s'' Committee to Con- 
sist of Seven — James Taylor, Daniel Gray, John Renkin, Daniel 
Shess (Shays), John Peibols, Doct Nehemiah Hinds, Joseph Peckerd. 
Also Voted that Capt John Thompson is to attend the above Com- 
mittee to give what Light into the Credit he Can." 


The action of the town at the above meeting concerning the issuing 
of orders to tlie six and three montlis men was not satisfactory to 
quite a number of voters and tlieir protest not being lieeded and their 
petition for a town meeting ignored by the selectmen, a petition to a 
justice of tliie peace to issue a call for such a meeting was made, 
which we copy in full. 

Warrant for Meeting, Jan. 22, 17S2. 
Hampshire ss 

To Abiah Southworth, Alathew Brown, Isaac Backer, Constables of the 
town of Pelham in the County of Hampshire and Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts, Greeting, — Whereas Application has Been made to Me the Sub- 
scriber by John Conkey Jun, James Thompson, Hugh Johnston, Robert 
Selfridge, William Croset, William Balden, Thomas Thompson, Thomas 
Montgomery, Andrew Abercrombie, James Abercrombie, Isaac Conkey, 
Jacob Proute, John McLem, and Caleb Keith, Inhabitants of the town of 
Pelham Qualified to vote in town meetings this fourteenth day of January in 
the Year of Our Lord 1782 that at said Pelham on the 12"' day of Jenury 
Instant there was Grate necessity and occasion of a Town Meeting for Ser- 
tain Business of Publick Concern to the Said Town and the Inhabitants 
their to be Don, that is to say to see whether the town will Recall the Vote 
Past the Ninth Day of Jenury Instunt Allowing the Selectmen to give 
Orders to the Six and three months men for the Stats Average or to see if 
the town will stop the Giving of Orders till such time as the Average is 
Settled and that by Reason and Necessity as aforesaid they the said Per- 
sons Aforesaid Did then and there make Due AppHcation in writing unto 
the said Selectmen of the said town of Pelham Requiring them to Issue 
there Warrant according to Law for the Calling a Meeting of the Inhabit- 
ants of said town to be Assembled to act upon the Business Matters and 
Articles as aforesaid and that the Selectmen aforesaid having Before them 
the Application Aforesaid Did then and thare Unreasonably Deny to Call 
such meeting as aforesaid on the Public reason aforesaid and Making 
Application to Me the Subscriber as one of the next Justices of the Peas 
for and within the same County for a Warrant to issue in Due form of Law 
Calling a Meeting of the Inhabitants of said town to act on the Matters and 
Articles aforesaid. These are therfore in the name of the Commonwealth 
of Massachusetts to Require you forthwith to warn all the Freeholders and 
Other Inhabitants of the town of Pelham lawfully qualified to Vote in town 
meetings that they assemble at the Meetinghouse in Pelham on Tuesday 
the twenty second Day of Jenury Instant at two of the Clock in the after- 
noon then and their after a Moderator Chosen to see whether the town will 
recall the Vote Pased the Ninth Day of Jenury instant allowing the Select- 
men to give orders to the Six and three Months Men for the .Stats Average 
or to see if the Town will stop the giving of Orders till such time as the 
Average is settled. 

Given under my hand and seal Jan 14, 1782 

John Ches Williams, Jus of Peas. 


The meeting called under the above warrant was a short one and 
resulted in a reconsideration of the vote of the 9th of January: 
"Voted that the vote passed Jenury the Ninth day of this instant 
Respecting the Selectmen to Give orders to the six and three months 
men is Recalled Tho;\ias Johnson, Moderator." 

" Settling the Average " was something desirable but not so easily 
accomplished. It had been left to a committee from surrounding 
towns. Committees of this town of Pelham had endeavored to settle 
it but it would not down. 

A warrant was posted for a meeting Feb. 4, 1782, the meeting to 
be held Feb. 8, giving only four days notice. 

" Thirdly to see if the town will Cliose one or more Agents to Meet the 
Agents from the other towns in this County at Hadley on Monday the 
eleventh day of February Instant. 

Forthly, to see if the town will Com in to Som effectual method to Settle 
the Average according to Law." 

Acting on the third article " It was Voted that three Delegates 
should attend the County Convention Viz : Capt Daniel Shass 
(Shays) Aaron Gray and Jonathan Hood, Committee of Safety. 
Voted to chuse a Committee in town to Settle the Average — said 
Committee to Consist of thirteen. Viz : Daniel Gray, Jonathan Hood, 
Samuel Hyde, Hugh Johnston, Nehemiah Hinds, James Taylor, John 
Harkness, Caleb Keith, John Renkin, Samuel Samson, William 
Croset, John Peebles, James Dunlap. Secondly Voted that the 
above Committee is to Velow the Town's Don in the Service." 

This last paragraph we interpret to mean that this committee of 
thirteen was instructed to make a valuation of what the town had done 
during the war up to this time to assist in settling the vexed average. 

'• Voted to sink the state and town Average from the beginning of 
the War and to Rais the Men for the future for the Present War in 
Equal Proportions as other taxes are Raised. Secondly A^oted to 
Withdraw the bill of State Everage out of the Constables Hands. 

Nehemiah Hinds, Moderator." 

The regular Annual meeting for the choice of officers was held on 
the i8th of March, 1782 and the voters shelved David Cowden, Nehe- 
miah Hinds, Daniel Gra}^ Caleb Keith and Joseph Packard, the 
board of selectmen that had refused to call a town meeting on peti- 
tion, and by a vote of hand chose a new- board consisting of Aaron 
Gray, Joseph Hamilton, Jonathan Hood, William Dunlap and Thomas 


McMellin ; and Mathew Clark, Caleb Keith, Capt. Daniel Shays,, 
Capt. Isaac Gray, Lieut. John McLem, Committee of Safety. 

Meeting, May 13, 17S2. 

At a town meeting held on 13th of May, 1782, Henry McCuUoch 
and Thomas Johnson were chosen delegates to attend a convention, 
to be held at Hatfield on the following day. It was further voted to 
choose a committee to instruct the delegates to the convention, and. 
Caleb Keith, Ebenezer Gray, William Dunlap, Mathew Clark, and 
Dr. Nehemiah Hinds were chosen for that duty and after the dis- 
charge of the duties laid upon them the town accepted the instruc- 
tions as good. 

It did not require very long notice to the freeholders and other 
inhabitants of the town to assemble them in town meeting, for the 
record shows a warrant bearing the date August 5, 1782, warning the 
voters to assemble at four o'clock on the afternoon of the 6th of 
August, the main business being to choose delegates to sit in county 
convention at Colonel Murray's in Hatfield on the following day. 
Daniel Gray and Thomas Johnston were chosen delegates and then 
Hugh Johnson, John Hamilton, Samuel Hyde, Henry McCulloch 
and John Renkin were chosen a committee to instruct the delegates 
in their duties. This done, the meeting adjourned for one hour and 
a half to the house of Landlord Bruce to give the committee time to 
instruct the delegates; at the expiration of ihc hour and a half the 
voters reassembled at the meeting house and hearing the report of 
the instructions given the delegates, the instructions were accepted 
by the town. Samuel Hyde was moderator. 

There was a town meeting called on the 19th clay of September,. 
1782 to " see what method the town would come into to pay the men 
for their Beef Bought in 1781,'' and it was "voted that the Selectmen 
examine into the Debt of the town and find out what the town is in 
Debt for Beef. Joseph Packard, Moderator." 

The town was not called together again in town meeting until Jan.. 
22, 1783, and the only business was to choose wardens for the town 
under a new law of the General Court. James Taylor and Reuben 
Lotheridge were chosen. Nehemiah Hinds was moderator. 

No more town meetings until March 3, 1783, which was the regu- 
lar annual meeting for the choice of officers. 

March 26, 1783, there was ameeting for general purposes. Henry 


McCulloch was allowed 12s. for attending county convention, Capt. 
Shays, 12s. for attending" a county convention, and officers of the 
town were voted various sums for their services. Three shillings per 
day was voted for workmen on the highways, etc. 

The people of the east parish of Pel ham began the agitation for 
having that part of the town set off by itself, and articles had appeared 
in several warrants for action upon the question and at an adjourned 
meeting, June 30, 1783, the matter was brought up and decided in 
the negative. 

Meeitnc;, March 25, 1784. 

At this meeting the old question of paying the six and three months 
men their bounty money came up and the following is the record : 
'' Voted to pay the six and three months men that was raised in the 
year 1780 thare several Bountys according to the States Everage, but 
they also voted to take advice of an attorney to see what method the 
town will take to settle an Everidge. The meeting was continued 
by adjournment to the house of Landlord Bruce for a quarter of an 
hour — then met and Vandued to Mathew Clark the Collection of the 
Bills taken out of Abraham Livermore^ hands if Clark provide suffi- 
cint bondsmen. Samuel Hyde, Moderator." 

April 14, 1784 there was a town meeting when a committee con- 
sisting of Dr. Nehemiah Hinds, Aaron Gray, Andrew Abercrombie, 
Capt. John Thompson, Nathaniel Sampson and Thomas Johnston 
were chosen to act as follows : " To treat with the six and three 
months men and Likewise every other Inhabitant of the town in 
order to Settle the Lose of the Late War in some shorter method than 
making a Everidge." This meeting was adjourned three times, and 
then was dissolved without further action. 

On the 26th of May, 1784, the town voted ;^45o to settle with the 
six and three months men, and this probably cleared the vexed ques- 
tion from the town docket. , 

The question of an " Everidge " was on again and while we may 
not grasp the matter completely, it was a desire to learn just what the 
town was indebted to the state after the services of the town to the 
state during the war, which had recently ended, was duly credited. 

On Friday, Feb. 4, 1785, the voters were called together again to 
act on these articles : 


" 2'-^ to see if the Town will Petition the General Court to Chuse a com- 
mittee to make an Everidge for the Town of Pelham — awaiting that the 
Verdict shall be Decicive. 

3'-^ If the Town is not a mind to Petition the General Court then for the 
Town to Value the Tours Done in the Late war in order to settle the 

The assembled voters did not take kindly to the proposition to 
petition the General Court but '• Voted to Choose a Committee out of 
tow'n to Make an Everidge. Daniel Shaw of New Salem, Col Mc- 
Clallen of Coldrain and John Powers of Shutesbury is s' Committee." 
Esquire Powers of Greenwich was afterwards selected in place of 
Daniel Shaw. 

It was also " Voted to Chuse a Committee of three in order to 
Notify and appoint the Setting of the Above Committee and Likewise 
to lay before the s'^ Committee all Papers Respecting Raising Men 
and all town votes that Respects the same — Said Committee is not 
to Communicate anything to the Above Committee or Suffer any 
other Person excepting under oath. — John Rinken, Lt Sampson and 
Mathew Clark is said Committee." it was also " Voted that the 
Result of Said Committee Shall be Decisive. 

Samuel Hyde, Moderator." 

The inhabitants of Pelham living on the East Hill and beyond had 
been dissatisfied for some time because of the long distance to travel 
to church and town meetings — they were obliged to go down the 
hill on which they lived into the valley of the West Branch and then 
climb to the top of the U'est Hill where the meeting house was 
located ; there were frequent town meetings on week days, and on 
Sundays they were obliged to go over the same hard road again until 
they felt it a burden more than they could bear. They were desirous 
of having a meeting-house on the East Hill for worship on Sundays 
and petitions had been offered to the town on several occasions ; 
articles had been in the warrants for town meeting asking that the 
east part of the town might be set oft" as a town by themselves, but 
"Nothing was acted" on such articles, — but the people in that part 
of the town were not discouraged thereby, nor did it turn them from 
the purpose they had set their hearts upon, but were more deter- 
mined than ever to effect some sort of separation. 

In the warrant for a town meeting, May 9, 1785, there appeared 
the following article : 



"2'^'y To see if it is the minds of the Town to sett off the East End of 
.Pelham Relative to a Petition that May be Presented for that Purpose." 

The town promptly considered the petition and action followed as 
per vote : 

" 2'"^' Voted to Sett off the East Part of the Town as far as the 
West Branch of Swift River unto a distinct Town by them Selves. 

Samuel Hyde, Moderator." 

The result of this vote was not so sweeping as the language would 
indicate, and did not make a new town at once, but it made it pos- 
sible to establish the East Parish and was the entering wedge which 
caused a division of the town of Pelham and the incorporation of 
that part of Pelham east of the West Pranch of Swift river as Pres- 
cott in 1822. 

The meeting, July 18, 1785, was an important one. There was 
but one article in the warrant which we copy. 

" 2'"-'' to see if it is the Minds of the Town to Abide by the Prisel of Towrs 
as the Committee out of town Prised the Towrs or Make Such alteration as 
the Town shall think Proper or any other article the Town shall think 
Proper to act upon." 

Action on above article : 

'' Firstly Voted to Allow Those men that Did Service in the Late 
war in the year 1783 (viz) the Eight Months Men Per Month Nine 

2'"' Men that Served six weeks in the year 1775 Per Month ?\ine 

3^"> Voted to Allow Those men that Did Service in the year 1776 
at ticonderoga Dorgester White Plains and Morriston Per Month 
one Shilling. 

4>My Voted to alow for Towers Done in the year 1777 (viz) at 
Moser Creek Stilwater Benington alarm Taking Burgoin and Ticon- 
teroge Per Month one Shilling. 

^thiy Voted to alow for Service in the year one thousand Seven 
hundred and Seventy eaight (viz) Towers at Springfield Clerecreek 
Roadiland and New London Per Month Nine Pence also for Towers 
in 1779 (viz) Eaight Months men to iill up the Towns quota for 
three years — nine months men to fill up the Vacancy of the Army 
and Eaight months men of the militia Per month one Shiling. 

y"''*' Voted that David Sloan and John Harkness Should be alowed 
one year Each — for Robert Conkey* Service in the three years Ser- 
vice, and the s'' Credit withdrawn from Alexander Conkey. 


gti.iy Voted to alow those men that Bought Credit of Thomas 
Montgomery the Credit they Bought of him. 

gthi) Yoted to alow John Barljer Nine Months and a half in the 
Nine Months. 

10"''- Voted to Chuse a Committee to Make up a Bill of the Ser- 
vice Done in the Late War s'' Committee L' Sampson, Mathew Clark 
and John Rinken. Ebenezer Gray, Moderator." 

July ig, 17S5, a warrant was issued calling a meeting on Thurs- 
day, August 4, 1785, containing one article: 

" To see if the Town will Grant a sum of money in order to Settle the 
Everidge according as the Town Prised the Towers and any other article 
the Town Shall think Proper to act upon." 

Meeting, Aug. 4, 1785. 

"Voted to Raise the Sum of fifty Pounds twelve Shilings and Two 
Pence two farthings in order to Settle the Service Done in the Late 
War (viz) Service Done from Seventy five to Eaight. 

Samuel Hyde, Moderator."" 

The people of Pelham were feeling the after results of a long and 
expensive war ; there was a scarcity of money and what there was in 
circulation was much depreciated : debtors were pressing for pay- 
ment, and in common with many other towns and communities the 
clamor for a further issue for paper money took possession of the 
people of this town, and found expression in town meeting held 
Jan. 26, 1786. A full transcript of the warrant and the action there- 
on follows : 

Warrant for Meeting, Jan. 26, 17S6. 

Hampshire Ss 

To Mr John Conkey, Constable for the Town of Pelham Greeting we 
Command you that you Warn and Give Notice to all the freeholders and 
other Inhabitants of Pelham Qualified to Vote as the Law Directs to 
Assemble on Monday the 30"' Day of Jan'y Instant at one of the Clock in 
the Afternoon at the meeting house in s<^ Pelham to act on the following 
Articles (\'iz) first to Chuse a Moderator — Secondly to See if it is the minds 
of the Town to have a bank of Paper money made and any other article the 
Town Shall find Necessary when Conviened. 

Hereof fail not and make Due Return of the Warrant to one of us the 
Subscribers Sometime before s'' meeting — Given under our hands and Seal 
this twenty Sixth Day of Jan''^ one Thousand seven hundred and Eighty Six 
John Bruce, James Taylor, Mathew Clark, Timothy Packard, 

Selectmen of Pelham. 

156 history of pelham, mass. 

Town Votes for Paper Money. 

"Att a Meeting of the freeholders and other Inhabitants of 
the Town of Pelham Legally Assembled on Monday ye 30"' Day 
of Jan"' 1786 Then Meet and first was Chosen Hugh Johnston 

2<"y Voted to have a Bank of Paper money made. 

3'"-'' Voted to Chuse a Committee to Petition the General Court 
to make s'' mony. 

4"''»' Voted that the Selectmen be s' Committee. 

5"''^' Voted that Thomas Johnston be added to s' Committee. 

The people of Pelham had been through the hard struggle of the 
ReYolution and had responded to all tails as promptly as it was pos- 
sible for them to do ; they were patriotic, but they were not pos- 
sessed of abundant wealth and the long years of war had borne 
heavily upon them. The war had but recently ended when in 1784, 
they were humiliated as well as angered by a four or five months' 
experience with Stephen Burroughs, a wolf in sheep's clothing, who 
came among them as a supplyer when without a settled minister. 
The year 1786 had now opened — a year of much turmoil and excite- 
ment throughout the state and especially in this portion of the state. 
Capt. Daniel Shays was one of the town wardens and he began to 
gather the discontented grumblers together and drill them in the use 
of arms. They also began to organize themselves by conventions 
here and there, and formulating long lists of grievances for which 
they demanded redress, and to secure which, later in the year, bodies 
of armed men attempted to force the state to grant. It is quite prob- 
able that nearly all of the men in the town were in active sympathy 
with the insurgent movement although not a word concerning the 
rebellion of that year is found upon the records, except a word or 
two about " Public Grievances." 

Meeting, May 19, 1786. 

The only business of importance was the choice of "Thomas John- 
ston to represent the town in the General Court for the present year." 




From 1786 to 1797. 


Petition of certain inhabitants of Belchertotvn in lySS. — Conventio?i at 
Bruce'' s Tavern^ fiilyji, lySd. — Mutteriugs about '■'■ Grievances " 
in Town Afeeting. — Delegates to Convention at Hatfield in 
August, lySd. — Second Parish Organized, iy86. — Choice of 
Delegates to Attend Constitutional Convention, lySj. — First fas- 
ti ce of the Peace Appointed, 1188.— Families Warned to Leave 
Town in lygo-gi. — First General Appropriation for the Poor, 
ijgo. — Support of the Poor First Sold to Lowest Bidder iyg4. 
— Laying Out Road to the Valley, lygS- — Stipulation Concern- 
ing the Poor, lygy. 

Certain citizens of the north part of Belchertown became desirous 
of becoming inhabitants of Pelham and a petition embodying their 
desires was presented to the voters of Pelham in town meeting 
assembled June 21, 1786, for action thereon. 

"The Petition of a Number of Inhabitants of the Town of Belshertown 
Humbly Showeth that we Request you would put an Article in your Next 
Warrant for Town Meeting to See if your Town will vote to Recieve s*^ 
Petitioners together with all the Lands Described in said Petition,Viz :— So 
far south and east as Mr. Jacob Edsons South and East Line, and so far 
south and west as the south and west Range of Wm Jedediah Ayeres Land 
and we your Petitioners as in Duty bound shall Ever Pray. To the Select- 
men of Pelham, Francis Stratton, Jedediah Ayers, John Barrus, Thomas 
Thurston, John Whight, David Conet, John Stratton, John Woods, We the 
Subscribers Jointly and severally agrees and Covenants with the Town of 
Pelham, Provided they vote to Receive said Petitioners or Subscribers, that 
We Our Heirs Executors or Administrators will Never vote to Remove said 
Pelham Meeting House from the place where it now stands, as witness our 

Fkancis Straton, John Barrus, Thomas Thurston, John Woods,. 
Jedediah Ayers jux, John White." 

The above petition was considered, and it was " Voted to Recieve 
to the town of Pelham a Number of Inhabitants of Belsherton with 
their Lands as is Sett forth in their Petition." 


On the south border of the town which was originally a straight 
line running due east and west there is now a break and a portion of 
the town is south of the original layout. This is believed to be the 
tract of land described in the above petition. 

The proviso appended to the petition which bound the petitioners, 
their heirs and assigns, never to take any steps looking to the removal 
of the "Meeting-House" from its position at the center of the town 
was unquestionably made a part of their petition to prevent opposi- 
tion by some who believed the addition of a few families on the 
south border of the town might lead to a demand that the meeting- 
house be moved to a more central position. 

Agitation for the Redress of Grievances, 1786. 

It was believed that the Legislature for the year 1786 would be 
called upon to redress certain grievances under which the people 
were suffering and the interest of the people in the action of the 
General Court about to be chosen is shown in the following articles 
of the same warrant : 

" First, To see if the Town will approve of the Instructions the Commit- 
tee gave the Representative and Pass all votes Relative thereto. 

3<^'y To see if the Town are Desirous of having a Redress of Publick 
Grievances and vote anything Relative thereto or any other article the town 
shall think proper to Act upon when Assembled." 

Action on the first article is given as per record: "Voted not to 
accept of the Instructions of the Committee to the Representative — 
also A^oted to Dismiss said Committee. — Voted to chuse a Commit- 
tee to Instruct the Representative this Present Year — the Committee 
to consist of five — that Mathew Clark, Joseph Hamilton, John 
Rinken, Hugh Johnston and Nathaniel Sampson is said Committee. 
Nathaniel Sampson, Moderator." 

Article three of the above warrant, for " Redress of Publick Griev- 
ances " seems to have received no consideration by the meeting, not 
even a vote to " pass the article " or " nothing acted on 3d article," 
which was a common record when articles in a warrant were not 
considered. If there was action on it, as there might have been in 
the excited state of the people, the record was not spread upon the 

Convention at Landlord Bruce's Tavern. 
The next meeting was on Friday, July 28, 1786, and the warrant 
contained but one article. 


" i"'y For the Town to Chuse a Delegate or Delegates to Meet in Con- 
vention on Alonda}' the thirty-first Day of this Instant at ten o'clock in the 
forenoon at the house of Landlord Bruce's in Pelham and Pass any vote 
Relative thereto or any other article the Town shall think Proper to act 
upon when Assembled." 

Action on above article: " Nehemiah Hinds was chosen Modera- 
tor. Caleb Keith and John Rinken were chosen as Delegates to 
represent the town in Con\'ention at Landlord Bruce'' on the 31''' 

2'^-' A^oted that there shall be a Committee of ten to instruct s'" 
Delegates. — Said Committee is Joseph Hamilton, Thomas Johnston, 
Joseph Packard, Mathew Clark, Doct Hynds, John Peebles, Hugh 
Johnston. Ebenezer Gray, James Taylor and Captain John 

The meeting was continued by adjournment to Monday the 14* 
of August next at 5 o'clock p. m. Dr. Hynds being absent, Ebene- 
zer Gray was chosen Moderator — and it was " Voted to chuse a 
Delegate or Delegates to Attend Convention at Hatfield on Tuesday 
the 22'' of this Instant — Voted that Caleb Keith and Mathew Clark 
are said Delegates." 

For what purpose the convention was called at Landlord Bruce's 
we find no record, but can assume that it was for the consideration of 
the " publick grievances " in some form or other ; that the duties of 
the delegates to the Pelham convention were considered of 'a weighty 
nature, and to have an important bearing for the good or ill of the 
town, is made evident by the fact that ten of the first citizens of the 
town were chosen to confer with them and give them final instruc- 
tions to guide their action in the convention assembled at the house 
of Landlord Bruce. There is no record of action in the convention. 

The convention at Hatfield on the 22'' of August 1786, which 
Caleb Keith and Mathew Clark were to attend was in session for 
three days with delegates from fifty towns to consider the causes of 
the general vineasiness and dissatisfaction among the people: and the 
convention formulated a list of twenty-five grievances under which 
the people were suffering. Similar conventions gathered in many 
parts of the state during the summer and autumn of this year 
until the excited people were in open rebellion against the state 

]6o history of pklha.m, mass. 

Meeting, Oct. 17, 1786. 

"Voted that Lieutenant Packard and Captain Shays shall be dele- 
gates to meet in convention in Hadley on the first Tuesday of Novem- 
ber. Then voted to continue the meeting by adjournment to Mon- 
day, the 23d day of this instant at 12 o'clock, at the meeting-house 
in said town. Then met according to appointment — the same mod- 
erator continued —then voted to excuse Captain Shays and Lieuten- 
ant I'ackard from serving in con\ention. Voted that Caleb Keith 
and Samuel Hyde should serve in their room. 

Samuel Hyde, Moderator." 

This was the last time Capt. Daniel Shays was elected to serve 
the town by the people of Pelham. 

Meeting, Oct. 3, 1786. 

That portion of the town east of the west branch of Swift river 
having formed a separate parish to be known as the East parish, it 
became necessary to decide what grants should be assessed upon the 
town and what expenses should be borne by the two parishes. It 
was voted that the selectmen consult with the East parish committee 
and agree upon what grants should be assessed upon the town. 

John Hamilton, Lamond Gray, Andrew Abercrombie, Joseph 
Packard and Nathaniel Sampson was chosen a committee to consult 
the neighboring towns in order to petition the General Court. 

The exciting times caused by being in open rebellion against the 
state government, and its leader a citizen of the town, occupied the 
attention of the people so completely that they may not have had 
time for town meetings had the voters been at home, as they proba- 
bly were not during the last few months of this year (1786) and for 
a month or two of the year 1 787, or until the collapse of the rebellion. 

After the adjourned meeting of Octoker 23 the town was not 
called together again until the warrant was posted for the regular 
annual town meeting March 29, 1787, and there was a continuance 
until the 24th of April without any business being transacted beyond 
the choice of Alexander Pierry, moderator, followed by the choice of 
the usual officers for the year. 

Meeting, April 2, 1787. 

Tlie Shays Rebellion was substantinlly ended and the voters of 
Pelham were probably all at home except Ca]:t. Daniel Shays and 


Henry McCulloch. The General Court had passed a law requiring 
all men elected to office to subscribe to an oath of allegiance before 
taking the oath of office, and the following transcript from the record 
of this meeting makes it. clear that the best men of the town were 
actively engaged in the rebellion or in sympathy with it. 

"The following persons have taken and Subscribed to the Oath of 
Allegiance as Directed by Law previous to the oath of office. John 
Rinkin, John Harkness, Andrew Abercrombie, Alexander Berry, 
Nathaniel Sampson, Ebenezer Gray, William Conkey jun, John Bruce." 

Subscribing to the oath of allegiance was required of all officers 
for a few years, and then the law was not enforced, perhaps repealed. 

After the east part of the town had become a parish by itself the 
call for town meetings warned the inhabitants to meet and assemble 
at the old or \^'est parish meeting-house and the west branch of 
Swift river was the line between the two parishes. The highway 
surveyors were directed to recognize the river as the limit of their 
respective districts while repairing roads. Surveyors in the East 
parish came down to the river and those belonging in the old parish 
went no farther than the river. There were separate collectors 
chosen for the two parishes, to collect to^\n taxes, John Barker hav- 
ing the collection of taxes for the West or old parish vendued to him 
in 17S7 at 1 2d on the pound and Lieut. John Hamilton had the col- 
lectorship of the East parish the same year at i2d. on the pound. 

The work of framing a constitution for the country which had 
been through a long and costly war for liberty had been accom- 
plished and conventions were called in the various states to submit 
it for adoption or rejection. 

A meeting was called Nov. 26, 1787, 

" To chuse a Delegate to Set in Convention at Boston to approve of the 
States Constitution." 

Nathaniel Sampson was chosen Moderator, and then it was "' voted 
to Continue this meeting by adjournment to the house of Landlord 
Bruce for a quarter of an hour." 

Just where Bruce's tavern was located cannot now be determined, 
but it could not have been far from the old parish meeting-house ; 
had it not been near, the assembled voters could not have adjourned 
to Bruce's tavern from the meeting-house for a consultation and 
returned to the meeting-house again within fifteen minutes. The 
record says that they " Met according to appointment," and '• Made 


choice of Mr. Adam Clark to Represent the Town in the Conven- 
tion to Ratify or Reject the Constitution." 

The next business on the record : " Voted to Chuse a Committee 
of five to Instruct s' Delegate. — Said Committee is Caleb Keith, 
John Conkey, Abiah Southworth. Doct Plynds and Joseph Packard. 
Nathaniel SaxMpson, Moderator." 

Meeting, Feb. 25, 1788. 

This warrant had but one article in it, but one of no less import- 
ance than " To see if the Town will Reccommend some Proper Per- 
son for a Justice of the Peace to the Governor and Counsel.'' 

Action of the meeting : "Voted to Reccommend Deacon Ebene- 
zer Gray to the Governor and Counsel for a Justice of the Peace. 
Voted that the Selectmen make out a Petition to the Governor and 
Counsel that they would Grant a Commition to Deacon Ebenezer 
Gray for a Justice of the Peace. Caleb Keith, Moderator." 

Dea. Ebenezer Gray was a man of integrity, honest, faithful and 
much respected by the people, as is shown by his being chosen town 
treasurer for many years, and elected upon many important commit- 
tees where intelligence, honesty and good sound judgment were 

Meeting, April 7, 17S8. 

At this meeting the following record was made : " Voted to Remit 
Capt Shays Rats in Capt. John Conkey's Rate Bills," thus showing 
that the rebel captain neglected to pay his taxes before leaving towa, 
and that he was not expected to return to town again. 

Meeting, Feb. 6, 17S9. 

This meeting was called Feb. 6, 1789, to act upon an article as 
follows : 

" First to see it the Town as they have not had an Equeal Chance with 
thair Breatheran by Reason of thair not having a Precept Seasonably to see 
if the Town will Petition the General Court for an Equel Chance with thair 
Breatheran for a New Choice for a Representative and to act on any other 
Article the Town shall think Proper when Convened."' 

The meeting was organized at one o'clock in the afternoon by the 
choice of Capt. John Conkey, moderator, and then il was "' Voted to 
adjourn said meeting to Landlord Shurtlief's until hve oclock of s'' 


day. Then met and it was voted that the Selectmen send a Letter 
to the General Court and Inform them of the Neglect of the Precept 
Respecting the Representative." 

The location of Landlord Shurtlieff's tavern was doubtless near the 
meeting-house ; and the fact of the town not being represented in 
the General Court because the precept did not arrive in season to 
call a meeting as directed in the delayed document was a matter that 
demanded consideration before action was taken by vote. There 
was no heating apparatus in the meeting-house and consequently not 
a comfortable place for consultation on the afternoon of a February 
day in an old-fashioned winter, and for this good and sufficient 
reason we have a right to suppose the adjournment was made to 
Shurtlieff's tavern, where the voters could deliberate and decide upon 
their action in comfort before the blazing fire-place at the tavern. 
When the plan of action had been decided upon the voters reassem- 
bled at the meeting-house according to the terms of adjournment and 
directed the selectmen to write a letter of explanation to the General 
Court, and at the same time praying to be given authority to elect a 
representative so that the town might not be deprived of the right of 
representation accorded to other towns. 

The Town Exercised on Account of the Poor. 

Since the settlement of the town the policy had been to exercise a 
close and rigid scrutiny upon those who desired to make a home in 
the town ; not only to see that they were desirable morally speaking 
but also for the purpose of making sure that they would make citi- 
zens not likely to become an expense to the town by reason of pov- 
erty. The thrifty Scotchmen had succeeded in keeping the poor 
and shiftless out of the town, warning out such as came in without 
first securing permission to enter, and by forcible removal if there 
was a disposition on the part of any new comer to disregard the 
notice to leave the town. In spite of all the care exercised by the 
leading citizens, sickness and distress would fall upon some, and 
assistance from the town was the only alternative. 

Meeting, April 12, 1790. 

The first general appropriation for the poor was made at the 12th 
of April meeting, 1790, recorded as follows: "A^oted to allow 6 
Pounds for the Support of the Poor the present year.' 


The first board of overseers of the poor, or a committee whose 
duties were substantially those of overseers of the poor of modern 
times, was chosen at the same meeting by this recorded vote : 
" Voted to choose a committee of three to Inspect the poor for the 
Present year." 

Meeting, May 4, 1790. 

It was voted to give a bounty for killing crows : — " Voted one 
shilling in Town Security for each Crow that is killed in the town by 
the 15"' of June Next by the Inhabitance of s' Town. Voted that 
any Person that shall kill a crow or crows shall carry the same to 
one of the Constables of s'' town and he to give a certificate for the 
Number of Crows that is killed. Mathew Clark, Moderator." 

In the warrant for meeting, June 4, T790, was this article : 

" To see if it is the mind of the Town to Petition the General Court set- 
ting forth the Badness of the Roads and our Inability to keep them in 
Repair Praying that they would grant the Town liberty to work out thair 
state Taxt on the County Road." 

It w'as voted to petition the General Court as per article and 
Andrew Abercrombie and Abiah Southworth were chosen a commit- 
tee to assist the selectmen in the " Draught of a proper petition." 

The meeting was called at 4 p. m. and the meeting was " adjourned 
to the house of Landlord Shurtlieff to meet again at half an hour 
after Eight oclock this Instant." 

This adjournment to the Shurtlieff tavern was not because the 
meeting-house was cold but to give the selectmen, and assisting com- 
mittee, better opportunity to formulate a petition to the General 
Court. The voters met at 8-30 that evening at the meeting-house 
and it was " Voted that the Town Except the Draft of the Petition 
that the Committee Drew. Abiah Southworth, Moderator." 

Copy of a warrant issued to Constable Benoni Shurtlieff, dated 
Jan. 31, 1791, by the selectmen: 

" To Lieut Benoni Shurtlieff. Constable You are Directed to Warn and 
give notice unto Isaac Doge of Charlton in the County of Worcester, 
Laborer, Georg Eliot Middleborough in the County of I'lyniouth, Thomas 
Thompson Taylor, forrenor, James Tally, a Transent Person, Moses 
Buttler of Hardwick in the County of Worcester, Laborer and James Wat- 
kins of Hardwick in the County of Worcester, Laborer who has latUy come 
in this town for tlie Purpose of ;il)iding etc. Thairfore that they Depart the 


Limits thairof with their Children and others under thair care within tii'teen 
days— Also the Widow Robeson of Connicticut State, a transent parson 
who has lately come into this town not having obtained Consent etc.'' 

All of the persons named were ordered to depart the limits within 
15 days and the warrant w-as signed by the selectmen. 

The return of the constable is unique : 

" Hampshire ss 

February 19, 1791 — By \''artue of this warrant I have warned all of the 
within Named Persons as this Warrant Directs Except Watkins family and 
thair not to be found in my presint and Eliot I left a Summons according to 
Law Bexoxi Shurtlieff, Constable of Pelhani." 

As we contemplate this wholesale midwinter warning out to a con- 
siderable number of men, women and children, we can but be more 
impressed with the abounding contempt for shiftlessness and improv- 
idence displayed by these Scotch citizens of the town. Had they 
issued their mandate to " Depart the Limits" earlier in the season, 
or postponed it until spring, we should not have felt so much like 
charging them with exhibiting a heartlessness that is not pleasant to 
to entertain against such thoroughly good people as we believe these 
sturdy Presbyterians to have been. 

The meeting Oct. 20, 1791, was for very important purposes, best 
expressed by quoting the warrant. The first article was to see about 
a mill being built on the west branch. The next article marks the 
proposed introduction of a practice not commendable, but it was one 
in common use in many towns for years, — now happily departed from 
and abandoned. 

"To see if the town will set up at \'andue the Cost of William McFall 
and his wife for one year." 

The unmistakable intention of the above article was to set up the 
cost of maintaining the unfortunate McFall and wife at vendue to 
the lowest bidder, but it does not say that. Possibly they thought it 
might be construed to mean the highest bidder, and caused a halt, 
for there is no record of action on this article. Action upon the mill 
privilege will be found in the chapter about mills, etc. 

"May 10. i79i,the Preambleation of the Line Between Pelham 
and Amherst. Began at a Heap of stones at the Southwest corner 
of Pelham and ran North 2d 15m west and found seven old ALirks 
and Boundarys, several of which we Marked with the Letter PA (viz) 
a Large Pine tree against Harkness improved Land also another 
Pine tree at the North end of a Pon hoi against Col Mattoons Land, 


another Pine tree about eight Roads North of Pelhani Road, another 
Pine tree against ("apt Parkers Lot, also an oak tree al^out ten Rods 
South of the River, also a large white oak tree against Hodgdons 
Land all of which trees we marked P. x\. and and Renewed the 
Northwest ("orner of Pelhani, which is a large Heap of Stones, by 
putting a Stake, said line is Run by Justice Dwight, Surveyor. 

Annual Mketino, April 2, 1792. 

The meeting was adjourned to April 17 and it was then "Voted 
to Chuse a Committee and to Provide for the Support of the Poor 
the present year. Chose James Dunlap, Lt Benoni Shurtlieff and 
Robert Makliani, for s'' Committee." A committee had been chosen 
in 1790 "To Lispect the Poor," and then excused from serving; the 
election of the above committee to provide for the support of the 
poor comes the nearest to overseers of the poor that the town had 
come, up to this time. It was found that the poor could not all be 
ejected from the town by a constable, and provision must be made 
for them. This year Justice Ebenezer Gray, David Huston and 
Jeremiah McMillen were serving the town — not as hog reeves, but 
under the more dignified title of *' Hog Constables." 

There was a regularly warned meeting held this same 17th of 
April for other business. 

Dr. Nehemiah Hinds petitioned for a favor professionally, as the 
warrant indicates: 

'• To see if the towi\ will grant Dr Hinds Liberty to set up a Pest House 
in .s'' town Providing it shall he set in such a place as shall be thought safe 
for the Inhabitance of s'' town."' 

The vote was favorable to the project of the doctor, and is thus 
recorded : 

" Voted Dr Nehemiah Hinds Liberty to set up anocalation House 
in said Town Provided it is set in such a place that the Inhabitance 
will not be Exposed to catch the Infaclion." 

Annual Meeting March 3, 1794. 

'' Voted to set up the Cost of Keeping of Mr. McFall and wife to 
the Lowest Bidder. Struck oh to William IJaldwin for /J'8 los for one 
year, the Doctors Bill Excepted." 

Mr. William Baldwin stands first on the long list of those who 
followed his lead and supported this plan of dealing with the unfort- 


unate by bidding off the poor to support at the inverted vendue, or 
lowest bidder. 

" Minits of a road altered by the Selectmen on the road leading 
from the County road to what is Called the Valley, the alteration is 
as follows (viz.) Beginning about twenty rod East of whare said 
road leaves the County road at a White pine staddle north of the 
road where now traveled, then bearing North of East to a white pine 
Staddle and then to a pich pine tree and then to a white pine tree 
by the mill brook a little north of the Bridge that is over the Mill 
brook. S'' trees is on Mr. John Harkness'' land and are marked on 
the south side. Then keeping the road where it is now traveled to 
the bottom of the hill, then leaving the said road on the north of a 
chestnut tree marked on the south side, from thence East bearing- 
south still in John Harkness land to the new Dug Way to land lately 
owned by Major Egleston, then through said Eglestons land to John 
Rinkins land, from thence to an old seller where Torrance lately 
lived and from thence to the road now travelled. S' road is laid out 
two rod wide southerly of the Marks." — Pelham, April 6, 1795. 

Meetinc;, April 6, 1795. 

Under a separate warrant the town was called to act on business 
contained in the following article : 

'• For the purpose of Collecting' their Sentiments on the Needsessity or 
Expedeency of revising the Constitution in order to Amendments agreeable 
to the Provition made in S'' Constitution." 

Vote on above article: '• Five voats for revising and trfty-six against 

Meeting, August 25, 1795. 

" Voted for the town to set up posts and Bords at the corner of 
the roads through S ' town to Direct Travellers to the Next town 
where S"^ road leads. David Conkey, Moderator." 

The assessors of Pelham one hundred years ago had very different 
methods in making up the valuation for taxation fi-om those of to-day, 
when the valuation is fixed somewhat close upon the real value of 
farm property. In 1795 the valuation of all the property in Pelham, 
including 209 polls and the non-resident lands, amounted to only 
$6028.05. Squire Abbott's valuation was placed at $190 and then 
a line was drawn across it as though it was a mistake. Dr. Nehe- 


miah Hinds valuation for taxation was only $157, and yet thedoctor 
paid the highest tax of any man in town, though it was only about 
$24 annually. They made the valuation very low and the rate suffi- 
cient to raise all the money needed fdr public purposes. 

Annual Meeting, March 6, 1797. 

"Voted to adjourn this meeting to Ensign John Coles for fifteen min- 
nits, then meet and first voted to adjourn this meeting for ten minnits 
to the meetinghouse then meet and first was voted to set up the 
keeping of Mr. McFall and wife to the lowest bidder, the Purchaser 
is to return him with as much Property as he Receives with him S'' 
Town is to pay all Extraordinary Doctrine. Struck of the keeping 
of Mr McFall and wife to Matt Clark for ^14 los." 

The meeting adjourned to the first Monday in April following. In 
the mean time Matt Clark repented him of his purchase and asked 
to be relieved of his bargain. The record concludes as follows : 

" Then met according to the above adjournment and first voted to 
Except Mr. James Latham in the room of Mr. Matt Clark, the keep- 
ing of Mr. McFall and wife was struck of to Mr Matt Clark at 
£14 I OS which sum S'' Latham is to have." 

The unfortunate Mr. McFall and wife had similar experience for 
many years. 

From 1797 to 1809. 

lYcDisfcr of J'euis in the Old Meetiiii^^-Jionse, iJoS. — Permission voted to 
build " Horse Shades " ijgg. — Sale of town lands at Vendue, 
j8oi. — Opposition to the Building of Turnpike, j8o2. — A to7vn 
Found established, 1804. — Robert Lothe ridge sells his peio in the 
Old Meeting-house.- — Voted to hold one-third of the town meetings 
in the Second Parish, 180^. — Attempts to have the Toll-gate 
Abolished, 1806. — Samuel and Andrew Hyde petition to have 
their lands set off to Ainherst, 1807. 

Meeting, ALakch 20, 1797, 
was called especially and only for action on this one article : 

"To see if the Town will grant Liberty for the anoculation of the Small 


Pox in said Town and Establish a House or Houses for the Caring on the 
same for any length of time that they shall judge best when convened." 

Action on above article was prompt and decisive. "Voted not to 
have the anoculation of the Small Pox in town. 

William Conkey, Moderator." 

Contract for the Care of the Poor. 

Mr. McFall and wife were struck off again for £i6 to Joel Conkejr 
and Lieut. Jeremiah McMillen, under the following written agreement:. 

" Pelham April 4"' 1798. This may certif)^ that Lt Jeremiah 
McMillen and Joel Conkey has agreed Before us that Conkey is to 
take McFall and his wife this year for Sixteen Pounds without the 
cow, and Conkey to have the cow towards the Sixteen Pounds, if the 
Town Consent to sell her for what sum Conkey and the Town shall 
agree for at the Aprisal of Men such as Conkey and the town shall 
agree upon these to the other selectmen of Pelham. 

Nehemiah Hinds, Alexander Berry, David Conkey, John 
Peebles, Selectmen. " 

The transfer of pews in the first parish meeting-house from one to 
another was made by deed in due form. Here follows the deed of 
Jonathan Killogg to Levi Gray. The deed conveys one-quarter of 
Killogg's pew, and is the same pew that Andrew Abercrombie sold 
to Killogg on the 25th of June, 1796, for $13. 'Phe sum Gray pays 
for one-quarter indicates over 100 per cent, advance in the value of 
pew property in tw^o years. 

" Know all men by these Presents that I Jonathan Killog of Pelham in 
tlie County of Hampshire, cordwainer, Do in Consideration of Seven Dol- 
lars to me in hand paid by Levi Gray of town and County above Named, do 
Bargain with and sell unto the said Levi one 4*'' of a Certain Pew in the 
West Parish Meeting House, s'* Pew is situated under the Gallery Stairs at 
the South East Corner of the Meeting House I"' of s"^ Pew is improved by 
Ezekiel Baker and Samuel Rodes and is Bounded west by Dr Southworths 
pew. North by the Alley to the stairs, East by the stairway, south by the 
walk of s'* meeting house, to have and to hold the above one 4"' of s** pew 
free from all Incumberance of Every Name or Nature and that the s"* Jona- 
than do Warrant secure and Defend the same to the s''* Levi his heirs and 
Assigns against all Claims and Demands Whatever, in Witness hereof I 
have set my Hand in Presents of Jonathan Killogg 

Attest, Christopher Patten 
Pelham Dec 12"' 1798" 


Meeting, Sept. io, 1799. 

The main business of this meeting is set forth in article two of the 
warrant : 

'•To see if the Town will grant a privilege to a Numlier of their Inhabit- 
ance to Build Horse Shades near the first Parish meeting house where the 
Town shall see fit.'" 

It was " Voted that their is a privilege to any Person that has a 
mind to Build Horse Shades, — Voted to chuse a committee to see 
where it is Most Convenient to Build Horse Shades on the Town 
Land, s'' Committee is Dea Gray, Nahum Wage and Jonathan Hoed. 
— said committee reported that their opinion is that it is most con- 
venient to Build Horse Shades on the south side of the grave yard 
wall. David Conkey, Moderator." 

Meeting, May 5, 1800. 

The vendue master's services were called in at this meeting as per 
record : 

" Voted to set up Francis Straton to the Lowest Bidder by the 
week to the next Annual Meeting, they that bids him oft is to Bord 
wash and Nurse him in Common health and the Extraordinary Doc- 
tring Nursing and Clothing is to be paid by the Town in time of 
Sickness, — Struck of to Ebenezer Wright at six shillings a week."' 

Meeting, Nov. 2, iSoi. 

Originally there were ten acres of land set apart at the center of 
the town for a common, training field and burying ground, and by 
the plan of the tract containing the first division into homelots it 
will be seen that a portion of this ten acres was taken from lot No. i 
or the minister's lot. Some of this land was east of the burial 
ground and the town had been called upon to lease or sell it in a 
number of town meetings. Li the warrant for this meeting was the 
following article : 

" To see if the town will sell the land belonging to said Town lying East 
of the Graveyard and North of the turnpike road at the Request of a num- 
ber of Petitioners, and pass all votes Nesessary to carry such sail into 

Action on article as recorded: "Voted to sell the land Belonging 
to the Town East of the Graveyard and North of the turnpike road 
as far south as the south side of the school house, with a reserve of 


the Land the school house stands on and the Cross Road. — Voted 
to sell said land at Publick Vendue, and to chuse a Committee to 
accomplish said Sale. — Nehemiah Hinds, David Conkey and John 
Rinken Committee. Voted that the above Committee shall guarantee 
to the purchaser that the Town shall not Use their land Southerly of 
the school house and North of the turnpike road, for any use except 
a Common. Nehemiah Hinds. Moderator." 

About this time the people became somewhat excited by a propo- 
sition to build a turnpike from Belchertown to Greenwich and Hard- 
wick which would leave the town sidetracked, and they began to 
work in opposition to the project upon information received from 
Capt. Isaac Abercrombie, then representative at the General Court. 

Meeting, Feb. i, 1802, 
Was called to act on a matter of public interest as per article : 
•• To see if the town will send a Memorial to the General Court against 
the proposed turnpike Road from Belchertown to intersect w^ith the Sixth 
Massachusetts turnpike somewhere between Major Powers of Greenwich 
and General Warners in Hardwick according tO' the Request 01 a Letter 
sent to the Selectmen of Pelliam by their Representative.'' 

The people assembled and "Voted that the Selectmen shall send 
a remonstrance to the General Court against the proposed turnpike 
in behalf of the town. John Rinken, Moderator." 

Meeting, Sept. 17, 1S02. 

It was " Voted to chuse two agents to attend on the Committee 
appointed by the General Court of the Commonwealth to Examine 
and report to the said General Court Respecting the Expedincy and 
Utility of the Road Petitioned for by Benjemin Hooker and others 
to be Established as a turnpike Road at Esqr Fields in Greenwich on 
the 2 I day of this instant. Chose Esq' Isaac Abercrombie and Dea 
Nathaniel Sampson agents for the above purpose." 

Meeting, Nov. i, 1802. 

Was called to consider a very important proposition as set forth in 
warrant : 

'• To see if the Town will consider the Request of a Committee from New^ 
Salem in Joining the Neighboring towns Respecting or otherwise providing 
a work House for the Reception and employment of the Poor at the joint 
expense and for the Common Benetit of such towns and Chuse an Agent or 


a Committee to meet at the House of John Smith, Inholder, in New Salem 
on the first Monday of January Next at Eleven oclock A. M. with such 
Instructions as the town shall think Proper." 

Meeting dissolved without action on the article. 

The people of Pelham had known but little about the poor ; the 
word pauper is not found on the records up to the receiving of the 
above proposition to build a Work House for the common benefit of 
the neighboring towns, including Pelham. Probably for fifty years 
from the incorporation of the town they had kept the poor from set- 
tling in the town, or warned them out if such persons came into the 
town without first obtaining permission to settle, and consequently 
were not in sympathy with the proposition from New Salem. They 
did nothing to encourage poverty or shiftlessness, and perhaps 
thought building a work house would encourage people to apply for 
aid, and who would prefer a snug home in a work house rather than 
being vendued to the lowest bidder. 

Meeting, Sept. 7, 1804. 

"Voted to raise $70 to purchis town stock of military stores for 
the town. Dr. Hinds, David Conkey chosen committee to purchis 
the town stock. 

Voted $ to defray the expense of building a bridge over 
Swift river, so called. 

Voted to set up Samuel Nash^ boarding and washing by the week 
to the lowest bidder until next annual meeting unless it proves he is 
not an inhabitant of the town, then struck of as proposed above to 
Nahum Wage the Keeping of Samuel Nash at Ninety-Nine cents per 

Meeting, Nov. 5, 1804. 

The sole business of this meeting was to consider the question of 
building a pound. The last one built was at the southwest corner of 
the graveyard near the meeting-house ; it was built of wood and had 
probably become useless by this time. 

"Voted to build a Pound in said Town. Voted that the Pound 
shall stand on Mr Hach' ' land below the Blacksmith shop on the 
Rite hand side of the turnpike Road. Voted that the Pound is to be 
made with a stone wall of five feet thick at the bottom and six feet 
and one half high with a Squair timber on the lop of Eight inches 


Voted to chuse a committee of three men (Viz) Esqr Abercrombie, 
Doct Hinds and Landlord Hach to build said Pown 

Samuel Josline, Moderator." 

Deed of a Pew in the First Parish Meeting-House. 

Robert Lotheridge^ Deed to Freedom Chamberlain. Know all men by 
these Presents that I Robert Lotheridge of Pelham in the County of 
Hampshire and Commonwealth of Massachusetts Cordwinder, in Consider- 
ation of ten Dollars paid by Freedom Chamberlain jun of Pelham in the 
County and state aforesaid Cordwinder the receipt whereof I do hereby 
acknowledge — do Hereby grant sell and convey unto the said Freedom 
Chamberlain a certain half of a Pew in the iirst Parish Meeting house in 
Pelham upon the Lower floor — Said Pew stands in the southwest corner of 
the Body Pews in said meeting house formerly belonging to My Honored 
Father Reuben Lotheridge Decest, with reserve of one seat for my Honored 
Mother so long as she remains a widow or Removes from said Pelham. To 
have and to Hold the above granted premises to the said Freedom his Heirs 
and assigns to his and thair use and behoof forever and do Covenant with 
the said Freedom his Heirs and assigns that I am lawfully Seized in fee of 
the above granted premisses, that they are free of all incumbrances, that I 
have good right to sell and convey the same to the said Freedom and that I 
will warrant and Defend the same premisses to the s'^ freedom his Heirs 
and Assigns forever Against the Lawful Claims and Demands of all Persons. 
Dec. 24, 1804. Robert Lotheridge, 

Mary Lotheridge. 

Meeting, April i, 1805. 

" It was voted that one third of the town meetings should hereafter 
be held at the second parish meeting house." 

Meeting, May 29, 1805. 

The town was called together to consider the proposition contained 
n this article : 

•' Article 2 For the town to vote that all those Persons living on the 
turnpike Road to work out their proportion of thare Highway taxes the year 
ensuing on s'^ turnpike Road Providing the Directors of s'' turnpike road 
will Discontinue the gate in s"* town of Pelham the year ensuing." 

Israel Conkey was chosen moderator and Article 2 was passed 
over in short order and the meeting was at an end. We learn by 
this that the directors of the turnpike company had a toll gate in the 

174 history of pelham, mass. 

Meeting, Oct. 23, 1805. 

There had been a vote passed to have one-third of the town meet- 
ings at the Second Parish. This was the first town meeting called 
at the Second Parish meeting house. For sixty-three years or more 
all town meetings were held at the First or West parish meeting- 
house and the assembling of the voters on Pelham East hill must 
have been a day to be remembered. The business of the meeting 
was stated in the second article : 

" For the Town to Grant a sum of money to Defray the unexpected 
expenses of Supporting the poor of said town." 

As the fixed belief of the town from its settlement was that there 
should be no poor persons in the town this call for more money for 
the Poor was not pleasant, and when the second article came up the 
people promptly passed it over, but on second thought recalled it 
and "Voted to raise $100 to Defray town Charges." rather than "for 
supporting the Poor," as expressed in the warrant. Joseph Akers 
was moderator. 

Meeting, Nov, 22, 1805. 

The location of the school-house in the middle district of the first 
Parish was not satisfactory to some and this meeting was called to 
act upon the question of changing the location, and we copy the 
recorded vote : " Voted Liberty to have the school house in the 
Middle District of the West Parish of Pelham Removed to near the 
Eand of the stone wall North of Robert Ormstons store and on the 
East sid of the Cross Rode Deeding thairby provided Mr Ormston 
moves it on his own Cost and puts it in as good Repair as it now 
stands. Voted to Chuse a Committee of three, — said Committee is 
Lt Rinken, Doct Hinds and David Conkey. Voted that said com- 
mittee is impowered to Transfair by Deed or otherways the Land the 
said school House now stands on for a school House spot Discribed 
in the second vote of said meeting. Voted to adjourn this meeting 
to Landlord Haches for one Hour. John Rinken, Moderator." 

It seems that Mr. Ormston was in the mercantile business; he had 
a store, and was to pay the cost of moving the school-house. I'he 
place selected was on the east side of the cross road that crossed the 
middle range road ; the middle range road running east and west, 
and the cross road north and south. 

town meeting records. 1 75 

Annual Meeting, March 3, 1806 
Was called at the West parish meeting-house, and after the officers 
were chosen the meeting adjourned to the Second parish meeting- 
house at 2 p. iM. the same clay to complete the list, and transact other 
unimportant business; quite an undertaking when we consider the 
condition of the roads in the month of March, and that the Second 
parish meeting-house was three and a half miles away. 

After the first, second and third divisions of land were drawn by 
lot there were still portions of land left and termed common lands, 
and the third article of the warrant for this meeting had reference to 
such lands. 

'• 3'^ to see if the town will Look up the Common Lands in said town and 
accertain what Number of acres thair are, and whether they will sell it, and 
pass all votes the Subject requires." 

" Voted to chuse a committee to look up the Common lands so 
called — s'' committee is Isaac Abercrombie Esq Lt John Rinken and 
Joseph Akers. They also voted that the Proprietors book containing 
a record of all the lands in town should be lodged in the town clerk's 
office. Isaac Abercrombie, Moderator." 

Meeting, Nov. 20, 1806. 

Those living along the turnpike were not at all satisfied with the 
action of the voters who lived at a distance from the turnpike in 
voting at a former meeting to " pass the article " asking to be 
allowed to workout a portion of their taxes on the turnpike, and the 
town was called together again on the same business. I'his time the 
true inwardness of their desire is expressed in the wording of their 
article in the warrant. They asked as before to work out a portion 
of their taxes on the turnpike " Provided the turnpike gate in said 
town shall be kept open and free from tole." It was of no use — the 
voters away from the turnpike sat down on the proposition by "vot- 
ing to Pass the Article. Joseph W. Hamilton, Moderator." 

Meeting, March 2, 1807. 

In the records of the west or first parish found, elsewhere is 
the action of the parish upon the petition of Andrew Hyde and 
others living near the west border of the town who wished to be set 
off to Amherst as far as pertained to parochial purposes in 1812 ; 
but Article 7 of this warrant shows that an attempt to be set off 


from the town, with their farms, had been made by Samuel and 

Andrew Hyde, who Hved in the southwest corner of the town on the 

farm now (1897) occupied by Hiram Ballou. 

The article on which Samnel and Andrew Hyde asked action was : 
"To see if tlie town of Pelham will vote to set off Samuel Hyde and 

Andrew Hyde from Said town and annext them to the Town of Amherst 

with their lands in Said town of Pelham." 

The town voted to pass the article. The meeting was then 
adjourned to the east parish meeting house on the first Monday in 
May. John Conkey, Moderator. 

Meeting, March 7, 180S. 

It was voted to hold the May meeting at the East parish. Voted 
that the selectmen be a committee to examine the road from the 
turnpike to Samuel Arnold's house and report as they think best at 
the May meeting. 

It will be noticed that Marson Eaton, the collector of the West 
parish for the year 1808, was on record to do the work for nothing 
and Joseph Akin, the collector for the East parish, was to do the 
work and pay two cents on each pound for the privilege. 

From 1809 to 1815. 

T7V0 Candidates for Representative to the General Court, i8og. — Taxes 
Upon the People, i8og. — Ihe Abercrombie Brothers, Isaac and 
Jai7ies, Candidates for Kepresentatii^e, 1810. — The 6th Mass. 
Turnpike Corporation Tries to Discontinue Their Road Through 
Tnvn, 1810. — County Road to Etifield Laid Out, 1811. — Go7>' 
ernor Petitioned to Restore the Two Military Companies to their 
Former Regiments, 18 12. — Fear of a Draft for the War of 
18 1 2. — Wages of Detached Soldiers Raised, 18 14. — The East 
Parish asks to be Set Off As a Town By Itself 1815. 

The following is a copy of the Pelham tax bills, A. D. 1809 : 
"Committed to Jonathan Wood and Marson Eaton Collectors of said 
Town Containing the following Sums. Viz — State Tax set at 30 cents on 
poll, 2 cts on the Dollar contains the sum of $225.19 



School Tax set at 61 cents on the pole and 4 cents on the 

Dollar Contain, 
Town Grants and County Tax set at 61 cents on the Poll, 

and 4 cents on the Dollar Contains 
Which they are to Pay to the said Treasurers Directed 

in these Warrants. 


Pelham Sept 1809. 

John Rankin Jun 

Robert Crossett . 

David Conkey Jun. ) Pelham.' 

) Assessor 
^ of 

Atkins, Joseph 
Airs, Beunos 
Ballard, Joshua 
Baker, John 
Berry, Alexander 
Butler, Daniel 
Brigham, I3arnabas 
Brigham, Liscomb 
Clifford, P. Daniel 
Crossett, James 
Conkey, Alexander 
Conkey. James 
Conkey, William 
Conkey, Thomas 
Cooley. Obadiah 
Crossett, Robert 
Conkey, Alexander Jun. 
Felton & Conkev 
Felton, Nathan ' 
Gray, Patrick Jun. 
Gray, Patrick 
Gray, Moses 2'' 
Gray, Jeremiah 
Gray, Daniels heirs 
Green, John 
Hunter, Wilkins 
Hinds, Nehemiah 
Hunt, Alden 
Hathaway, Jonathan 
Hyde, James 

Abercrombie, Isaac 
Abercrombie, James 
Abercrombie, William 
Andross, Stephen 
Abby, Sabin 
Arnold, Samuel 

Do Cook Farm 
Arnold, Ephraim 
Andross, Asa 
Braley, Solomon 
Baldwin, William 
Bryant, Ichabod 



8 81 

Hoar, John 

8 84 

3 72 

Hoar, Calvin 

1 52 

I 82 

Jennings, Roswell 

7 82 

2 05 

Knight, William 

6 44 

ID 67 

Millen, Levi 

2 12 

Millen, Jonathan 

II 17 

8 44 

Millen, William 

14 27 

6 62 

Miller, John & Rufus 

9 44 

I 52 

Meklam, John 

13 94 

4 62 

Mills, Brigham 

6 25 

3 30 

Mills. James 

3 92 

I 70 

Miller, David & William 

5 53 

12 04 

Powers. Isaac Doct 

2 32 

8 67 

Richardson, Jonathan 

9 14 

5 82 

Sears, Roland 

5 84 

8 72 

Sloan, Samuel 

7 94 

3 30 

Sloan, David & Gardener 

5 42 

10 86 

Staples, Elias 

5 oS 

4 75 

Sloan, Samuel Jun. 

I 52 

1 52 

Sloan, Andrew 

I 52 

3 75 

Titus, Sylvester 

5 27 

2 41 

Taylor, Lyman 

I 52 

I 52 

Stockwell, Peter 

4 J2 

2 00 

Vaughn, Thomas 

4 27 

I 52 

Williams, Silas 

4 12 

12 08 

Wright, Gad 

2 60 

24 02 

Wheeler, Edward 

4 67 

I 52 

Wright, Ebenezer 

I 21 

9 23 

Wright, Gains 

2 19 

3 74 



10 72 

Harkness, Joel 

4 62 

7 14 

HoListin, Robert 

6 72 

2 99 

Heyden, Thomas 

3 13 

4 56 

Housten, David 

3 29 


Hamilton, Joseph 

8 14 

ID 86 

Hamilton, Oliver 

4 45 

I 00 

Harlow, Thomas 

I 36 

I 52 

Hamilton, Isaac 

I 52 

Inman, William 

3 29 

4 32 

Johnston. Adam 

7 50 

I 62 

^ oslin, Joseph 

6 67 

5 28 

Janes, Stephen 

4 ?,7 



Boyington, Silas 

5 44 

Brown, Ezra 

4 20 

Brown, William 

4 70 

Butterworth, John 

2 42 

Bayington, Ebenezer 

I 62 

Bayington, Asa 

I 25 

Ballew, Stephen 

I 22 

Crozier, Artimus 

3 91 

Cook, Silas 

I 90 

Cook, Eseck 

II 17 

Do Preserved Farm 

2 30 

Cook, James 

2 53 

Cook, Adams 

3 04 

Clark, Samuel 

4 07 

Conkey, Isaac 

5 22 

Conkey, U avid 2'' 

3 40 

Conkey, Elisha 

7 24 

Cowen, James 

7 09 

Cowen, George Heirs 

5 46 

Conkey, David 

4 86 

Conkey, David Jun. 

3 34 

Conkey, John 

4 «5 

Conkey, Isreal 

4 48 

Conkey, John Jun. 

3 19 

Conkey, Warren 

I 52 

Capron, Otis 

I 52 

Crawford, John & Levi 

9 50 

Curtis. Oliver 


Conkey, Alexander 

I 60 

Carpenter, Daniel 

2 12 

Cowen, Willard 

I 52 

Conkey, Rheuben 

I 52 

Cowen, Josiah 

1 52 

Dwelley, Aaron 


Dunlap, William 

5 70 

Dunlap, James 

5 70 

Dunlap, John 

4 57 

Danforth, Elijah 

7 52 

Davidson, Phineas 

6 24 

Dodge, Nathaniel 

5 84 

Draper, Lewis 

8 89 

Dunbar, Josiah 

I 52 

Dodge, Daniel 

2 52 

Eaton, M arson 

7 33 

Do Southerbies Farm 

I 10 

Eaton, Walter 

7 52 

Edson, Seth 

6 87 

Failes, Sewel 

3 55 

Gilson, Riley 

2 90 

Gilson, Nathan 

II 21 

Gilson, Nathan Jun. 

2 42 

Gaskin, William 

6 47 

Griffin, David 

• 52 

Griffin, Jonathan 

2 37 

Grout, Joel 

8 4' 

Gray, Ebenezer & John 

>5 58 

Gray, folin 

s 82 


5 17 

Greenwood, Daniel 

5 00 

Johnston, Silas 

Kelley, Wing 
do Allen Farm 

King, Robert 
King, Peter 

Kingman, Henry 

Do Washbun farm 
do Ormstonfarm 

Leach, Marvelous 

Leach, Jonathan 

Lincoln, Isaac 

Miller, Samuel 

McColluck, Henry 

Miller, Moses 

Macomber. George 

May, Isaac 

Newel, David Jr. 

Newel, Levi 

Otis, Isaac Jun. 

Oliver, William 

Packard, Daniel 

Packard, Elijah 

Packard, Thomas 

Packard, Jonathan 

Packard, Job 

Packard, Eliab 

Peso, Samuel 

Packard, Jacob Jun 

Peck, F Jesse 

Potter, Olney Doct 

Randall, Gideon 

Randall, Ephriam 

Rankin, John 

Rankin, John Jun 

Rankin, James 

Reniff, Abisha 

Rider, Isaac 

Reniff, Morey 

Smith, Oliver 

Swan, Duty & Robert 

Sterns, Jasper 

.Shaw, Asa 

Smith, William 

Tower, Isaac Jun 
Do Shaw Farm 

Turner, Elis 

Taft. Jared 

Tower, Isaac 

Tliurston, Paul 

Thurston, Elisebeth 

Thomson, James 

Thomson, James Jun 

Thomson, John Heirs 

Thomson, Daniel 

Thomson, Thomas 

Terel, Noah 

Taylor, John 

Wheeler, Joseph 
Do Baldwin farm 

























































































4 92 



























Gray, Elliot 

5 72 

Wood, Jonathan 

7 32 

Hannum, Plinne 

4 34 

Wood, Daniel 

2 52 

Harkness, John 

8 12 

Waiscoat, Rheuben 

2 57 

Harkness, David 

5 02 

Do Southwards farm 

I 40 

Hyde, Samuel 

2 80 

Ward John 

3 5- 

Hyde, Andrew 

3 52 

Wilson William 

3 02 

Hannum, David 

2 87 

Wilson. William Jun 

3 " 

Hood, Jonathan 

11 09 

Wedge, Nahum 

5 75 

Hall, Lemuel 

4 9- 

Wells, Augustin 

2 27 

Howard, Joseph 

7 -3 

Williams, Henry 

2 82 

Harkness, Daniel 

5 57 

The footings of these taxes will not equal the amounts called for 
in the warrant because of the non-resident taxes which are not given 
in the above list, but it shows the amount of every man's tax that 
was assessed that year. 

The rate as stated in the tax bills as delivered to the collectors, 
was two cents on the dollar for the state tax, and four cents for the 
school tax and the same for to\yn and county tax. Putting it 
another way, it was $20 on the $1000 for state tax, and $40 per 
$1000 for school and town and county. A very high rate but the 
valuation was low. 

Fortunately we have the money value or cost of one farm that was 
taxed in iSog, — that of Samuel Arnold. Mr. Arnold paid $3000 for 
the farm in the year 1800 and probably that was a fair price for it in 
1809 if worth $3000 in iSoo. Eseck Cook purchased his farm in 
1806 paying ^3000 for it. 

The price for taxation by the valuation in 1809 was exceedingly 
low, as appears when we separate the items that make up Arnold's 
total tax of $11.86, State tax, one poll, 30 cts., real estate $1.64, 
personal 22 cts., total tax ^2.16. This sum less the poll tax is 
$1.86. x^s the tax rate is two cents on the dollar, the total of real 
and personal estate for purposes of taxation was only $93. But 
there were two rates, one of two cents on the dollar, and one of four 
cents on the dollar, and three separate taxes were assessed. 

The school tax, four cents on the above total valuation of $93, and 
a poll tax of 61 cents, amounts to $4-35 

The town and county tax is the same as the school tax 4.35 
State tax as above 2.16 

Cook farm, three separate taxes, 20, 40, 40^ i.oo $11.86 

An examination of the list of taxes given for the West parish shows 
that the seven heaviest town tax-payers were Ebenezer and John 
Gray, $15.58; William Smith, $14.79; Henry Kingman, $14.29; 


Samuel Arnold, $i 1.86 ; Nathan Gilson, ^i 1.2 1 ; Eseck Cook, $11.17; 
Jonathan Hood, $11.09. ^^ ^^^ East parish, comprising that 
part of Pelham which is now Prescott, the seven largest tax-payers 
were Dr. Nehemiah Hinds, $24.02 ; William Miller, $14.27 ; John 
Maklam, $13.94; Wilkins Hunter, $12.08 ; Jonathan Miller, $11.17 ; 
Felton & Conkey, $10.86; Alexander Berry, $10.67. Besides the 
three taxes above named, there was the parish tax for the support of 
the Gospel. 

Meeting, May 7, 18 10. 

Was for choice of a representative to the General Court for the 
session opening on the last Wednesday of May instant. James 
Abercrombie received 69 votes ; Isaac Abercrombie received 67 
votes. The defeated candidate had served for several terms but 
failed of a re-election. His brother. James Abercrombie, being 
elected by a majority of two. 

Both were sons of Rev. Robert Abercrombie, the first settled min- 
ister in the town. It was a contest that quite likely brought out a 
full voting strength of the town. 

Meeitno, Dpx. 3. 18 10. 

The Sixth Massachusetts turnpike corporation was chartered and 
incorporated in 1799. The company had built a turnpike through the 
town and had collected tolls from the people, but had maintained 
the road at their own cost ; for some reason, probably because the 
travel on the turnpike was not sufficient to make any money for the 
Company, they proposed to discontinue the part that ran through 
Pelham. This action was not pleasing to the people of the town and 
the warrant for the Dec. 3d meeting had the following article : 

"To see what method the town will Take in Answer to Order of Notice 
from the Sixth Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation for Discontinueing 
said road through said town and pass any vote respecting the same they 
shall think proper." 

Action of town on above article, first Major John Conkey was 
chosen moderator and then it was ''Voted Unanimously to Remon- 
strate against the Discontinuance of that part of the Sixth Massa- 
chusetts Turnpike road through the town of Pelham. Voted to Choose 
a Committee of five to Draught a Remonstrance to send to the Gen- 
eral Court, the selectmen to be the above Committee viz Major John 


Conkey, Isaac Abercrombie, Andrew Hyde, Roland Sears and 
Jonathan Richardson.— Voted that Mr. James Abercrombie use his 
influence to oppose the Discontinuance of said road through 

Meeting, May 6, iSii. 

This meeting was called to act upon to the proposition to lay out a 
County road from Amherst through the south part Pelham to Green- 
wich south line. It was a revival of the project started in 1809, 
the town opposing it at that time. 

The article reads as follows : 

" To see whether the Town will Chuse Agents to oppose a County Road 
being laid from Amherst to Greenwich through the south part of Pelham 
as the order of notice of John Williams and others shall show." 

The opposition was of no avail, and the county road from Amherst 
to South Greenwich, now Enfield, was built in 18 12. 

Meeting, May 27, 1S12. 

" Voted, that the town of Pelham as a Town Petition the Execu- 
tive that both the Militia Companys be reinstated to their former 
Regiments. Chose Isaac Abercrombie Esq, Capt Henry Kingman 
and Asa Shaw a committee to draft a petition and forward the same. 

John Conkey, Moderator." 

By the action of the town at the special meeting it appears that 
the town had two militia companies, and that for some unstated rea- 
son they had been deposed from a connection with certain regiments 
of militia and the action was to secure their reinstatement. 

Meetinc;, Oct. 6, 1812. 

This meeting was called to act upon the petition of Andrew Hyde 
and five or six other citizens of the town who lived near the west line 
of the town, near Amherst, who had grown tired of climbing up the 
hills to the first parish meeting house to attend the preaching of the 
Gospel on Sunday. They had petitioned before and been turned 
away, and more determined than ever petitioned the General Court. 
The article covering the business in hand is here given : 
" Article 2 For the Town to take into consideration the Petition of 
Andrew Hyde and others to the General Court to be set off witii their 
Estates to the East Parish in Amherst and the Order of Notice thereon and 
vote and act as you shall think fit when met." 


" Voted that the Selectmen of the town of Pelham be a Committee 
to Answer the General Court on the order of Notice sent to said 

Voted Not to set off Andrew Hyde and others to the town of 
Amherst as expressed in their petition. 

John Rankin, Moderator." 

Meeting, July 13, 18 12. 

The people of the town had began to fear that there would be a 
draft of men for the war with Great Britain which was now imminent, 
and the warrant expresses the desire of the people for action in 
advance of a draft. 

"Article 3 To see what Money or Any the town will grant to the Men 
that are Drafted to go into the service in Case they should be called out. in 
addition to what is Established by law." 

Acting on the above article it was " Voted to Allow Each soldier 
two Dollars bounty each, provided they are called into actual ser- 
vice ; and make them up ten Dollars per month while they are in the 

Isaac Abercrombie Esq' was chosen an Agent from the town to 
meet at Northampton at a County Convention the 14"' of July 
Current. Isaac Abercrombie, Moderator." 

Meeting, Nov. 7, 1814. 

The main business for which this meeting was called being to 
raise the wages of detached soldiers. The article in the warrant was : 
" To see if the town will raise the wages of the detached soldiers to 
twenty dollars per month."' 

The vote on the above article was " To raise the detached sol- 
diers wages. Voted to give the detached soldiers five dollars per 
Month while in service including the want of Provisions in going to 
the place of destination." 

Meeting, May r, 18 15. 

Was called to act upon several important matters of interest, 
among them, the disposal of the common lands north of the grave- 
yard at the West parish : 

" Article 4 To see if the town will vote for the Second Parish in Pelham 
to be Incorporated into a town with the South part of New Salem." 


They voted not to sell the common lands, but ignored the 4*'' arti- 
cle entirely or failed to record the action on that article. 

The East parish people having been desirous of being incorporated 
into a town probably had this article placed in the warrant in order 
to test the sentiment of the people in the ^Vest parish, but were not 
gratified. They did not give it up however, for in the warrant for a 

Meeting, May 17, 1815 

the matter was brought before the town again under substantially 
the same article. 

The meeting was called to order and Jesse F. Peck chosen moder- 
ator. The meeting was then adjourned for half an hour probably for 
informal consultation. Then met and voted to pass the article which 
had reference to the East parish being incorporated as a separate 
town, and chose a committee to remonstrate against it before the 
General Court where the East parish people proposed to go with 
their case. William Miller, Henry Kingman and Isaac Abercrombie 
were chosen a committee to oppose the East parish in the General 

From 1816 to 1824. 

A^ezv Pelham. — Order of Xotice From the General Court to Show Why 
the Prayer of the Second Parish Should Not be Granted, 18 IQ, 
— The To7vn Votes Against Revising the Ovistitution, 1820. — 
The Last Act of Opposition to Setting Off the Second Parish. — 
The Town Rejects All of the Eleven Amendments to the Consti- 
tution, 1821. — The East Parish Succeeds in Getting Set Off From 
the Old Tnun, 1822. — Large Number Supported By the Town 
in 1822. — Saleof Co7Hmon Lands and Proceeds Go For Repairs 
on the J^eetins: Llouse, 182^. 

Meeting, Sept. 15, 1817. 

Following the above meeting is the record of the perambulation of 
the town lines ; beginning at a hemlock tree at the southwest corner 
of New Salem, going east to the east line of the town of Pelham, 


thence south between Pelham and Greenwich formerly Quabbin, 
until the southeast corner of Pelham was reached. We quote from 
the language of the record now : " Thence west to A stake at the N. 
E. corner of New Pelham, a white oak by the brook, S. W. of Abram 
Packards, from thence to a stone set up formerly for the S. E. corner 
■of New Pelham which is now the corner of Enfield, Belchertown and 
Pelham — ^from thence to an oak the corner of Randalls land and 
Marked it P. B. a chestnut tree in the woods, another in corner of 
the wall, next a stake on the road S of Elijah Randalls, next a pitch 
pine Stake Southwest corner of New Pelham ; a white oak stake the 
N W corner of New Pelham ; thence west to a white oak tree 
on the road N of R Browns. — a stake on the road North of 
Pettengalls, a chestnut tree in the road, a chestnut tree on the top of 
the hill, a white oak on the line of the Hyde farm, — closed the line 
between Belchertown and Pelham at a stake standing W of the road 
.and northerly from John Thayers and marked it P. B. & P. A." 

They are now at the Southwest corner of the town of Pelham and 
we will not follow them further. Have copied that part of their record 
which speaks of New Pelham. This is the tract of land, being a 
part of Belchertown that was allowed to become a part of Pelham on 
petition of the inhabitants living thereon in the year 1786. and which 
juts out south from the south line of the town, which was a straight 
east and west line up to that time. 

Henry Kingman was the surveyor in charge of the peramble and 
Levi Crawford was his assistant. The date of this record is Nov. 
14, 1817. 

The people living in the East parish had not outgrown their ambi- 
tion to set up for themselves as a separate town. In another warrant 
from the one calling upon the people to elect a representative to the 
General Court was the following article calling for action this same 3'' 
of May 18 1 9. 

" 2'* To see what the Town will do on the the order of notice from the 
General Court to show Cause, if any they have why the prayer of the peti- 
tion of the inhabitants of the East parish to be set off with the south part of 
New Salem as a separate Town shall not be granted and act and do any- 
thing touching the same, as the Town may think proper." 

'•Voted Not to set off the East Parish as a Seperate town. 
A^oted Capt Henry Kingman, Jesse F. Peck and John Rankin jr a 
Committee to instruct the Representative respecting the East Parish 


getting off as a Seperate town. — said Committee to draw up a remon- 
strance against the East Parish getting off as a seperate town. 

Isaac Abercrombie, Moderator. 

Abia Southworth, Town Clerk." 

Meeting, June 7, 18 19. 

The irritation rendering this town meeting necessary arose from 
the action of the Sixth Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation as 
expressed in the one business article of the warrant: 

'• To see if the town will take Measures to Oppose the petition of the 
Sixth Massachusetts Turnpike which is gone forward to the legislature for 
throwing back upon the Town of Pelliani said Turnpike road through said 
Town, and to act or do anything respecting the same that said Town shall 
think proper." 

"Voted that the Selectmen of Pelham write to our Representative 
at the General Court to oppose an order of notice which we expect 
from the General Court through the instigation of the proprietors of 
the Sixth Turnpike Corporation." 

The Turnpike Company had aroused the displeasure of the people 
long before by continuing to exact toll, and now proposed to throw 
the road back upon the town, which was accomplished. 

Some concessions had probably been made to the people in the 
way of exemption from toll when on certain necessary business trips,, 
and one of these is said to have been exemption from toll when going 
and returning from the grist mill. One toll gate was some distance 
west of the old meeting house, and one day the keeper refused to 
allow a boy to pass with a load of grain without toll, and having no 
money the boy was turned back. The night following this outrage, 
the gate disappeared, and in the morning the toll gatherer found the 
following poetical notice posted near where the gate had been : 
" The man who stopped the boy while going to mill, 
Will find his gate at the bottom of the hill." 

The notice proved to be truthful, — as the toll man found his gate 
a mile or more down the hill toward Amherst. 

Meeting, Aug. 21, 1820. 

The warrant for this meeting was short : 

" Is it expedient that Delegates should be chosen to meet in Convention 
for the purpose of revising or altering the Constitution of Government of 
this Commonwealth." 


The action of the town was decidedly against revision or change, 
the vote standing as follows: For revision 23, against it 52. 

There was a sudden change of sentiment among the people on the 
subject of revision or change in the Constitution, for in the face of the 
pronounced opposition expressed in the vote given above, the voters 
were called together on the third Monday of October following to 
choose a delegate to a constitutional convention. 

Meeting, Oct. 16, 1S20. 

The warrant called the voters together to elect one delegate to 
meet delegates from other towns in convention in Boston on the 
third day of November next, for the purpose of revising the constitu- 
tion of government of this Commonwealth. 

Action of meeting: " Did then and there elect Rev. Winthrop 
Bailey to be their delegate for the purpose aforesaid." 

Annual Meeting, April 2, 182 1. 

The last gasp of opposition to the East parish getting set off and 
incorporated as a town is shown in the two closing votes of this 
annual meeting : 

" Voted to Instruct the Representative to oppose the East Parish 
getting off as a town. 

Voted that the Selectmen remonstrate against their getting off as a 

The population of Pelham by the census of 1820 was probably 
larger than at any other time in its history. And that portion of the 
town east of the west branch of Swift river being set off in 1822 the 
old town never increased in population sufficiently after that to come 
up to the numbers before the division. 

According to the census of 1820 there was a population of 1278 in 
Pelham. Amherst has 1917, Ware but 11 54, Northampton 2854, 
Hadley 1461. 

Rejection of the Fourteen Amendments to the Constitution, 
Monday, April 9, 1S21. 

Tinkering the constitution was not in favor with the voters of 
PeUiam as shown by the reception the fourteen amendments received 
at their hands when called upon to vote upon them, every one of 
them being rejected. 


There were no more town meetings in the town until March 1822. 
The East parish had succeed in getting set off, and with a shoe off 
from the south end of New Salem had been incorporated as the town 
of Prescott, Jan. 28, 1822. Consequently the familiar forms and 
faces of the voters residing east of the west branch, who had been 
coming to the West parish meeting house all their lives to attend 
town meetings, were seen no more. The records up to this time 
since 1738 cover the whole town, but from this date forward are 
separate and distinct. The number of voters will be less, the 
appropriations less, the number of officers less, and possibly the num- 
ber of the poor fewer. 

Meeting, April i, 1822. 

" Voted Lemuel Hall, Henry Kingman Esq and John Harkness a 
Committee to settle the demands against Pelham and Prescott. 

Voted To Give the Town of Prescott the offer of supporting what 
that has gained a settlement within their Limmits, if not the town 
of Pelham will Support all the Poor and the town of Prescott pay 
their proportion for their support." 

Meeting Adjourned to May i, 1822. 

At this adjourned meeting the business transacted was the dispo- 
sition of the poor of the town for the ensuing year. The system was 
an objectionable one, but at the time this record was opened upon 
the town books it was the system adopted and practiced by many 
towns. Within thirty years all of the burden of the poor had come 
upon the town, — the pressure was great and the system adopted was 
for the purpose of making the burden as light as possible and not 
from any inhumanity or animosity felt toward the unfortunate poor. 
That there was so many relying upon the town for support in 1822 
is something remarkable, and it is not easy to understand how there 
should be such an increase when in 1790 there was practically no 
paupers in town. We give the full record of the disposition of the 
poor for the year 1822. It will serve to fully illustrate the system, 
so that not so much space will need be devoted to this phase of town 
management hereafter. 

May I, 1822, Then met according to adjournment. "Voted to 
set up the Poor of Said town by families. 

Voted That the Persons that bids off the poor shall Victual, doc- 


tor, nurse and clothe them, and return them with as good Clothing 
as when Received. 

Voted that the sale of paupers of the town shall be confined to the 
town (i. e. no man from out of town would be allowed to bid.)" 

There were close upon twenty-five persons supported by the town 
in 1 82 2. 

At the time the East parish was organized in 1786 it became 
necessary to organize the West part as a parish and to conduct its 
affairs as a separate organization, but now that the West parish 
comprised substantially the whole town the subject of returning to 
the town system of management of church affairs came up for con- 
sideration, and a parish meeting was called. 

Parish Meeting, April 8, 1822. 
'■ Voted to transfer all the parish papers into the hands of the 
town officers and do no more business as a Parish. 

Voted to Constitute the Parish Committee to settle all demands 
against said Parish and then transfer all papers to the town officers. 
Isaac Aeercrombie, Esq., Moderator." 

Town Meeting, May i, 1822. 

'' Voted to raise $300 for Rev. Winthrop Baileys Salary for the 
year Ensuing and Voted to raise $25 for Contingencies." 

Under this action the parish was abolished and the affairs of 
raising money for support of the Gospel and contingent expenses 
restored to the control of the town as of old. 

Meeting, June 17, 1822. 

The article under which this meeting was called was as follows : 
" To see if the town will Condescend to let the Rev Mr Bailey preach in 

any other town or Towns such part of the time for the year ensuing as shall 

be agreed upon when Convened." 

Recorded action upon above article : "Voted that Rev W Bailey 

Preach in the town of Prescott or some other town one fourth part 

of the time for one year from this date. 

Isaac Abercroimbie, Moderator." 

Meeting, March 3, 1823. 
" Voted to Choose a Committee to settle with the town of Prescott 
concerning the Paupers and divide said Paupers with said Prescott, 
and our Selectmen be the Committee. 


Voted To adjourn this meeting till the first Monday of April at 
two oclock P M. Then met and voted to take off two hours of the 
adjournment and went on to do the business at 12 oclock at noon. 

Voted to Give Martin Kingman leave to occupy eight rods of the 
town lands for a house. 

Voted to choose three of a Committee to consult with the Town of 
Prescott concerning our Ecclesiastical affairs — and Isaac Abercrom- 
bie Esq, Dr Abia Southworth and Henry Kingman Esq be said 
Committee. Adjourned to May 5. — Met according to adjournment 
and Voted that the town keep a stock of Powder and Ball on hand, 
and the Soldiers may not Furnish themselves with powder and ball at 
our trainings in said town." 

Meeting, May 28, 1823. 

The town was called together to act upon the following article : 
'• To see if the town will assume the debt of arearages due from the Com- 
mittee of the proprieters of the Meeting house for repairing the same on 
Conditions the town will vote to sell the Town and Common lands in said 
Town for that purpose, and also on conditions and in Consideration of the 
proprietors of the Meeting house yealding up and giving said town the right 
and privilege of holding Town Meedngs in the same so long as said Pro- 
prietors shall Continue the same for a Meeting house." 

The above warrant is in pursuance of and agreeable to the petition 
of John Taylor and others. 

" Voted to sell the town lands and the proceeds applied to pay for 
repairs on the Meeting house on condition the town be allowed to. 
hold town meetings in the Meeting house." 



From 1824 to 1861. 

Couficil Called io Dismiss Rev. Winthrop Bailey in 182^. — Great 
Flood of 1828 Does Damage. — Zilm Cook Elected Repj-eseii- 
tativc by One Majority in i82g. — Stove Used in Meeting House 
for the First Time in 183 1. — New Touni Hall Wanted in 1833. 
— Money Secured froin the United States Treasury in 1837. — 
Wanted to Change the Auime of the Tncn in 1840. — Libraries 
Established in 1842. — Scheme for Tivo Town Halls in 1842. — 
Old Aleeting House Changed for Town Hall in 1844. — Old 
Meeting House Rented in 1846. — Mafiy Candidates for Repre- 
sentative in 1830-31. — Voted to Surrender the Charter in 
1834-36. — Enrolled Men in 1861. 

In 1824 school houses were needed in the southeast and in the 
northwest school districts, and the assessors made out lists of non- 
resident property within these districts and assigned the lists to these 
■districts. The northwest district had 1000 acres of non-resident 
land valued at $8000 to $10,000 for taxation to build school houses. 

Meeting, Sept. 5. 1825. 

This meeting was of more importance than the one just recorded. 
Rev. Winthrop Bailey was settled over the people of Pelham in 181 5 
and had been a faithful pastor for ten years but for some cause that 
does not appear in the record, his w-ork among them was about to 
close, and the warrant for this meeting was to bring the matter before 
the people. 

" Voted to choose three of a Committee to unite with Rev \\' 
Bailey in Calling the aforesaid Council. Made Choice of Henry 
Kingman Esq, Isaac Abercrombie Esq and Martin Kingman the 
above Committee. 

Voted To raise one hundred and fifteen Dollars to reward the Rev 
Winthrop Bailey for services rendered to said town — up to his dis- 

Voted that the above Committee receive the Money Voted to said 
society by the Evangellical Missionary Society in Boston and pay 
the same to Mr Bailey. Henry Kingman, Moderator." 


Doubtless the council was called and the Rev. Winthrop Bailey 
was formally dismissed. The action of the Council was probably 
duly recorded upon the church books. The above is all the record 
of action by the town. 

MEETiNCi, Aug. i6, 1826. 

" Article To see if the town will agree to find Pompons and feathers for 
the soldiers in lieu of the Money which has been paid in by the Conditional 

'' Voted that the town will furnish the Money to purchase l^om- 
pons and feathers and take money in the treasury paid in by the 
conditional exempts in lieu thereof. 

Voted Capt Cyrus Kingman, Lt Alanson Chapin, Ensign Lemuel 
C Wedge a Committee to look up the Money paid in by said Condi- 
tional exempts. 

Voted That Said Pompons and feathers when not in use shall be 
lodged with the clerk of the Company." 

Adam Johnson, a liberal donor to Amherst College of funds to 
erect the Johnson chapel, had recently deceased and there was an 
unsettled claim of his estate against the town, and the town had a 
claim for taxes against the estate of Johnson. Oliver Smith, Jr., Ezra 
Brown and Reuben Westcott were chosen a committee to examine John- 
son's claim against the town and the claim for taxes against theestate. 
They were to report at the annual meeting in March or April and at 
a meeting Nov. 27, 1S26, it was '• Voted to raise Four Hundred Dol- 
lars to pay a Claim of the Administrator on Adam Johnsons Estate 
against said town." 

The desire to prosecute Martin Kingman as expressed by vote in 
the meeting of June 25, 1827, was subject for another town meeting 
on the 19''' of November following, when the matter of choosing an 
agent to prosecute to final judgment came up. Isaac Abercrombie, 
a cool headed and able citizen was chosen Moderator, and the suit 
against Martin Kingman was disposed of effectually by vote as 

" Voted Not to Choose an Agent to prosecute and Voted to 
instruct the Committee to discharge the Action now pending between 
the town and Martin Kingman, and they (the committee) be 

The year 1828 was made memorable because of the great ffood of 


that year which swept away bridges and caused great damage to the 
roads and necessitated the calling of a special meeting, Sept. 23, 
r828, to raise money for the repair of the highways and bridges. 

Henry Kingman was moderator. It was " Voted to raise $500 
for the repair of the Highways injured by the late freshet. 

Voted to raise $200 in addition to the above.'' 

The damage to the town highways and bridges proved to be 
greater than estimated for at a meeting held Dec. i, 1828, it was 
voted to raise $300 in addition to the $7 00 voted in September. 

Meeiing, May 4, 1S29. 

Was for the choice of a man to represent the town in the General 
Court to be convened in Boston on the last Wednesday of the cur- 
rent month of May. 

There were three candidates in the held, and for the tirst time in 
years the vote for representative was recorded by the town clerk. 
The vote for Ziba Cook, 48, for Samuel Clark, Jr., 39, and for Cyrus 
Kingman, Esq., 8. 

Lawsuits, 1829. 

The town for some reason was involved in lawsuits this year. 
The records fail to explain just what the suits were for and we are 
shut up to the bare facts as stated. 

At a meeting held in May. 1S29, Cyrus Kingman. Esq., was chosen 
agent of the town to manage a suit commenced by Sally Smith 
against David Abercrombie. 

At the same meeting Cyrus Kingman was chosen an assistant 
agent to help Martin Kingman to manage the suit brought against 
the town of Pelham by Abner Goodell. 

At a meeting on the i6th of September Cyrus Kingman was 
chosen an agent to defend the suit brought by Ira Abercrombie 
against the town. 

Meeting, Sept. 2, 1830. 

This meeting was unimportant save in one or two particulars. It 
was at this meeting that the list of the poor people was increased by 
the addition of Mary and Rachel Johnson. It was voted that these 
two worthy but poor people remain in the hands of the selectmen 

until the hrst of November. 


Building the wall in front of the center graveyard was struck off to 
Nathaniel \\'heeler. The turf was to be taken ofi^ and the wall laid 
three and a half feet thick at the bottom and four and one-half feet 
high, capped with flat stones on the top, the front to be equal to Col. 
Cyrus Kingman's wall west of said wall. Mr. Wheeler had the job 
of building a gate with stone posts at the burying ground. Undoubt- 
edly the same stone posts that stand there now. Wheeler was paid 
one dollar per rod for the wall and $5 for the stone posts and gate. 

Meeting, April 4, 183 1. 

" Voted to accept of a proposal made by David Goddard Jr of 
Petersham concerning taking and keeping the Canada Girls. The 
proposals is as follows viz — He is to take them at Sixty-five dollars 
per year from and after the Sixth day of May next and keep them 
free of Expense to the town so long as they all three live. Whenever 
one shall be taken away by Death he is to keep the others until the 
expiration of the year and return them free from expense to the town 
or Make a new bargain. He pays all funeral as well as other 
charges. Receives his Money for keeping them at Pelham."' 

The Canada or Kennedy girls were persons supported by the 

Meeting, Nov. 14, 1S31. 

" Voted (Under General article) that the Subscribers for procuring 
a stove have a privilege of setting it up in the Meeting house pro- 
viding they obtain it and support it throughout at their o\yn expense. 
Daniel Tho.mpson, Town Clerk."' 

The history of this town meeting doubtless marks the time when 
the introduction of a stove into the meeting house, that since 1740 
the good people of Pelham had sat in on Sundays and on many town 
meeting clays without any fire save a few coals in the foot stoves 
monopolized by the women on Sundays. On town meeting days in 
cold weather the men were nimble in carrying adjournments for con- 
sultation to the tavern beside the great open fireplaces. The propo- 
sition to set up a stove in the meeting house was considered in the 
town meeting in a way to throw all the responsibility upon the 
"subscribers." They were granted the privilege of setting it up, but 
the voters did not propose to have the town made responsible for its 


The election of representative had become an interesting feature 
of the annual election and in 1832 there were six candidates and the 
votes cast for each candidate we lake from the record : 
Reuben Westcott i Votes. 

John Rankin Esq 2 " 

Martin Kingman 2 '' 

Cyrus Kingman 5 " 

David Conkey 29 " 

Lewis Draper 60 " 

Lewis Draper was elected by a majority of 21 votes. 

Attest David Thompson Town Clerk. 

Meetinc;, March 4, 1833. 

" Voted — that whoever takes charge of the Meeting House the 
ensuing year shall take charge and care of the fire at all necessary 
and proper times, and sweep the Meeting House Every Month in the 
year Meeting or no Meeting. 

Voted to set it up to the lowest bidder. Martin Kingman bid 2.75 
and being the lowest bidder the same was struck off to him." 

There were twelve town meetings in 1833 and five of them were 
called for no other purpose than to vote for Register of Deeds. The 
dates of these meetings were June 3, 1S33, Aug. 29, Nov. it, Nov. 
23, Dec. 25. Giles C. Kellogg, Chauncy Clark and William Swan 
were the principle candidates and the meeting of Dec. 25, resulted 
as follows: Giles C. Kellogg, 38 votes: Chauncy Clark, 26 votes. 
We can conceive of no reason for so many trials for a Register of 
Deeds save a failure of any candidate to get a majority. 

Annual Meeting, March 2, J835. 

"Voted to set up the Care of the Meeting House to the lowest bid- 
der — To sweep said house when necessary — Also to make fires when 
occupied, and lock and unlock when used — Struck off to Jared T. 
Westcott at $2.00 for the year. 

Voted that the Selectmen be a Committee to confer with Prescott 
authorities about building a bridge between the said Towns and 
report at April meeting. — Report was to build a bridge wide enough 
for two teams to pass and S250, was voted to build it. 

Cyrus Kingman, Town Clerk." 



Warrant for Business Meeting, Nov. 9, 1835. 

2d ■• To see if the town will vote to build a town house for the accommo- 
tion of transacting town business. 

3d To see if the town will vote to Accept of a Piece of land lying in the 
fork of roads above Learned O. Draper's for the Center of said Town and 
for the location of said House. 

4th To Choose a Committee to Superintend the building of said house 
and secure a title of said land in behalf of said Corporation. 

5th To see if the town will accept of the town house in Shutesbury as a 
pattern for said house. 

6th To see if the town will Job out the building of said house to the 
lowest bidder therefor. With sufficient bonds, and make note of them 
accordingly, to be completed by first of Nov. 1S36. and to the acceptance of 
superintending committee.'' 

The meeting "Voted not to build a Town House.'" They tried 
again in 1836 and failed, that ended the matter. 

Annual Meeting, March 6, 1S37. 

The choice of the school committee was effected after a singular 
spasm of backing and filling. 

" Voted not to choose a school Committee for Examining School 
Teachers. Voted To reconsider the above vote. 

Voted To Choose an Examining Committee of one person from 
each school district that may serve for nothing. 

Voted To adjourn choosing an Examining Committee till the first 
Monday in April at one o'clock p. M. 

Voted to choose a .School Committee consisting of three persons 
to examine School teachers, make the necessary returns and go no 

It was after all these votes in the order given, that the committee 
was chosen. 

Meeting, May i, 1837. 

This meeting was for the purpose of considering and determining 
whether the town would agree to receive its proportion of the monies 
received and to be received by the Treasurer and Receiver General 
of this Commonwealth from the Secretary of the Treasury of the 
United States for deposit with this Commonwealth, in pursuance of 
an Act of Congress to regulate the deposit of the public money, 
approved June 23, 1836. 


" Voted. That this town agrees to receive from the Treasurer and 
Receiver General of the Commonwealth its proportion of the Surplus 
Revenue of the United States, on deposit and will comply with the 
terms and provisions of the several acts passed by the legislature of 
said Commonwealth concerning the surplus Revenue. 

Voted. That Martin Kingman is hereby authorized to sign a 
certificate of deposit for the sums of money he may receive from 
time to time from the Treasurer and Receiver General, thereby bind- 
ing the town in its corporate capacity for the repayment to said 
Treasurer of the money so deposited, and any and every part thereof 
whenever it shall be required by said Treasurer, to be by him 
refunded to the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. 

Voted to pay the town debts out of the Surplus Revenue, and that 
the Selectmen put the remainder at interest in sums not to exceed 
one hundred dollars each, to be loaned to inhabitants in town, if 
sufficient applications are made, if not, in larger sums at the discre- 
tion of the Selectmen, they taking sufficient security for the same. 
Attest RuFUS Grout, Town Clerk. 

The number of persons supported by the town had fallen from 
perhaps twenty-five in 1822 to five in 1838, and they partially self-sup- 
porting. This decrease was only temporary, and the number 
increased again within a few years. 

Annual Meeting, March 2, 1840. 

There were some people in town who believed that Lord Pelham 
had been honored sutficiently in the nearly one hundred years that 
the town had borne his name and were anxious to change the name 
Pelham to something else more fitting to the elevated location, 
and we find the following vote on the records as passed at this annual 
meeting: " Voted to petition to the General Court to change the 
present name of Pelham to Mt. Hermon.'' 

The petition was not followed by the legislation they prayed for 
and Lord Pelham continued to be honored by the use of his name 
the same as for the almost completed century since the incorporation 
of the town. 

Meeting, April 4, 1842. 
"Voted $105 for the common school libraries, it being the sum 
required of said town for the purpose of establishing District School 


Libraries to enables the town to receive the same sum from the state, 
agreeable to a law passed by the legislature of 184 1. 

Voted George B. Pitman, Calvin ]). Eaton, Ziba Cook, a commit- 
tee to examine the records to see whether the Old Meeting House 
belongs to the town, or whether it has any interest in the same. 
Committee to make report at the next town meeting." 

Meetinc}, JaxV. I, 1844. 

The main business of- this New Years' day meeting was to act 
upon the following article of the warrant : 

Article 4. To see if the town will vote to sell tlie Old Meeting House, 
and if they so vote to see on what terms and conditions the Vestries of the 
Congregational and Methodist Churches in said town can be had and appro- 
priated for the purpose of holding town meetings in them alternate!}' and to 
take such measures for carrying the same into effect as shall be thought 
proper when convened. Agreeable to the petition of John Parmenter and 

The meeting was organized with George P. Pitman as moderator, 
and when the fourth article was readied the only record of action is 
in the following words : " Voted to pass the 4th Article of the War- 
rant.'" Thus ended another attempt to change the place of holding- 
town meetings from the Old Meeting House where they had been 
held for one hundred years. 

Meeting, April 7, 1845. 

" \"oted to lay a door across the gallery of the Old Meeting House 
and move the stove now in the old Meeting house above and repair it 
suitable for a town house, meaning the upper part of the old Meet- 
ing house. 

Voted to let out the repairing of the upper part of the old Meet- 
ing house to the lowest bidder ; to be repaired as follows : Viz, To 
lay a door, between the galleries, timbers shored up well on the 
underside, Glass put in the windows in the galleries and Chimney to 
be made from the top of the upper floor to the top of the roof. 
Struck off to C. D. Eaton to repair for the sum of S50, to be done 
first of Nov. 1845. 

Voted that any person or persons who may choose may have the 
privilige to move the Old Meeting house back the bigness of the 
house, and thirty feet more, if any person or persons will move it at 
their own expense. 


Voted to finish off the N. E. Corner of the Old Meeting house, for 
a hearse house by a partition up to the under side of the gallerys 
jointed and matched 16 feet by 12 feet — make suitable doors and 
hang them and wharf up so that it will be convenient to draw a hearse 
in and out of the door, and put a lock and key on the door. 

Meetinc;, April 6, 1846. 

" Voted to accept of .\sa Tomsons proposals for the rent of the 
lower part of the town house which is as follows. I Asa Tomson of 
Pelham agree to pay the town of Pelham six dollars a year for the 
rent of the lower part of the (Jld Meeting House in Pelham for a 
term of fifty years to myself and heirs and assigns provided I can 
have a privilige of making any repairs I shall think proper for con- 
verting the same into work shops or for any other purpose I shall 
think fit to appropriate the same. 1 am to have the privilige of 
Erecting a Chimney through the town hall area the same to intersect 
with a Chimney in the upper part of said house, the above rent to be 
paid annually so long as the town keeps the upper part in repair ; 
and 1 am to have all the boards and lumber in the lower part of said 
house, and to have the privilige of taking off all tenantable repairs 
at the end of said term. 

Pelham, April 6, 1S46." 

One cause of trouble among the people was the dissatisfaction 
with either the school districts or the highway districts, and some- 
times there was dissatisfaction with both at the same time. Propo- 
sals for a change in highway districts or school districts appeared in 
the warrants for town meetings quite often and the year 1846 was 
notable in school district commotion. 

Meeting, April 23. 1849. 

" Voted That the selectmen cause a room to be finished off in 
Southeast part of the town hall to keep the Weights Measures and 
Balances in, and the town books and papers." 

Meeting, May 1, 1850. 

Moderator, Chester Gaskill. *' Voted, Thomas Buffum, Monroe 
Eaton, Olney Cook a committee to redistrict the town."' 

This committee attended to the duty assigned them and the record 
of their doings is spread upon the pages of the record book, and goes 


to show tliat there was at all times a prevailing dissatisfaction with 
the school districts, and a constant desire for change, but it would 
make monotonous reading if printed here. 

Meeting. Nov. 25, 1850. 

There had been one trial to elect a representative which failed, 
and this meeting was to give another chance. There were six good 
men who wanted to go. The voters were called together at " Ten 
of the Clock in the forenoon." The result of the voting was as fol- 
lows for six candidates : 

Nehemiah W. Aldrich So votes. 

Israel H. Taylor 47 " 

Rufus Grout 10 " 

Chester Gaskell 10 

Lyman Jenks 3 

Alanson Chapin i " 

The total sum assessed for the year 1850 as per assessor's report 
was as follows : Town grant $1550.00, overlayings $44.01, highway 
delinquences $55.20, total $1649.21. 

Meeting, Nov. 27, 1850. 

This was the third town meeting during the month and the busi- 
ness that called the voters together this time v^as set forth in article 
2 of the warrant. 

"Article 2. To see if the town will set off to Amherst the West Part of 
Pelham agreeable to the petition of John Russell and others."' 

The meeting was called at 2-30 o'clock of the short November 
afternoon and Daniel Purrington was elected Moderator. On article 
2 the recorded action was decisive. 

" Voted Not to set off the west part of this town to Amherst — the 
number of voters for setting off was eight. The number against set- 
ting off was eighty-six." 

John Russell lived in the southwest corner of the town, on the 
farm now occupied by Hiram Ballon, and the same farm that Samuel 
Hyde tilled a century or so ago. He was six miles from Pelham 
center and attended church at Amherst. He was not satisfied with 
the vote and took his petition to the Cxcneral Court the next year but 
did not succeed in getting set off. 

200 hisi'orv ol' i'f.lham, mass. 

Meeting, Nov. io, 1851. 

There was a contest for the office of representative to the General 
Court from Pelham this year. There were six candidates in the 
field, and the ballot on the hrst day resulted in no choice, the vote 
standing as follows : 

David Abercrombie 72 votes. 

Rufus Grout 59 

Thomas Kuftum 21 " 

William Newell 5 " 

Israel H. Taylor i " 

Harney Wetherell i " =159 

Adjourned meeting, 10 a. i\i., Nov. ii, 185 i. Result of the \'oting 
for representative to the General Court at Boston for the ensuing 
year, being the election of David Abercrombie. 

A similar contest occurred in 1853 when it took two days. The 
first day Thomas BufFum received 55 votes; all others 55. At the 
next trial Mr. Buffum received 48 ; all others 42. 

Meetin(;, Jan. 31, 1S54. 

This was a very important meeting and the warrant follows : 

'• 2'' To see if said Town is willing to give up and surrender her town 
Charter and become disfranchised as to all town priviliges and rights. 

3'' To act on the subject of having said Town divided in any legal way 
and manner and having the parts annexed to adjoining town, and to use any 
legal means to accomplish the same. 

4"' To Choose all Committee or Committees, ofificer or officers necessary 
or desirable to carry any or all of the al)ove into effect and operation and to 
give them such instructions as said town may judge expedient when 

Action of the meeting: — ■•r' Made choice of David Abercrombie, 
Moderator. Voted to surrender this town's Charter according to the 
"Warrant calling this meeting. Seventy three in favor (73^ Thirty 
six (36) against. 

"Voted to Choose a Committee of three to Carry the same into 
effect — Minor Gold, Isaac B. Barrows, Grove W. Hannum chosen 

Special committees were also chosen to visit the adjoining town to 
forward the project in hand, and the above committee were instructed 
to take charge of that petition in the Legislature at Boston. 


'J'he cause of the action of the town in voting to surrender the 
charter cannot be explained to the satisfaction of all ; but the action 
of the people of the western portion of the town in seeking to have 
the legislature set off a good generous portion of the town to Amherst, 
and their persistence in this purpose led to a growing feeling that 
if the best portion of the town was ultimately set off, it would be bet- 
ter to go in at once to surrender the charter, give up the organization, 
and have the territory all divided up and annexed to the surrounding 
towns. It was while the people were thinking that there was a prob- 
ability of a tract, a mile and a half or more wide, extending across 
the western end of the town, being annexed to Amherst by the per- 
sistent efforts of the people residing therein, that they suddenly gave 
in and endorsed the annihilation project by a two-thirds vote of 
those present and voting thereon. 

The action of the people of Pelham became known to the people 
of Amherst and was not pleasing to them. A town meeting was 
called at Amherst on the 27''' of February, 1854, and an expression 
of the majority of the voters was obtained by a yea and nay vote on 
the following resolution offered by Hon. Edward Dickinson : 

" Resolved — as the sense of this town of Amherst, that as at 
present advised and in the present state of proceedings before the 
Legislature, on petition of the town of Pelham for leave to surrender 
its charter, and to be annexed to the adjoining towns, we are opposed 
to the surrender of its charter and to the annexation of any portion 
of its territory to the town of Amherst." On motion of Horace Kel- 
logg the yeas and nays were ordered on the above resolution. Each 
voter's name was then called and 252 voters answered to their names 
as follows: In support of the resolution, 168 ; against it, 84. 

It had been generally understood that Amherst would be pleased 
to accept of a strip of territory a mile or more wide across the west 
end of the town of Pelham, but the probability that Amherst would 
be asked to receive more than that if the charter was surrendered, 
caused the decision not to accept of any portion of it. 

The action of Amherst as recorded caused a change of feeling 
among the people of Pelham as will be seen in the action of the 
March meeting. 

At the annual meeting, March 6, 1854, there was a motion made 
to rescind the vote passed Jan. 31, to " Surrender the Charter" and 
it failed to pass, 84 voting for reconsideration and 87 against. 


Instead of a two-thirds vote in favor of surrendering the charter, in 
a total of 109 votes at the first meeting, there was only the small 
majority of three against rescinding in a total of 171 votes, which was 
as full a vote as was possible to call out, for the excitement on the 
question was great and both sides were out in full force. 'J'he senti- 
ment against the surrender of the charter and annihilation had set 
in, and the success of the project was doomed although not entirely 
abandoned. Nothing seems to have been done about it during the 
year 1855 but the agitation was renewed in 1856. 

Meeting, March 6, 1855. 

John Russell and others were still pushing to be set oft" to 
Amherst and a petition from these parties was read asking the 
legislature to set them oft' to Amherst. It was then " Voted to 
instruct the selectmen to call a town meeting to choose an agent or 
agents to appear at Boston to object to the petition of John Russell, 
Sylvester Jewett and others being granted." This meeting was held 
on the 1 6th of March, 1855, ^'""^^ Calvin 1). Eaton was chosen agent 
to go to Boston to oppose the aforesaid petition. Eaton was 
empowered to take one or more witnesses with him. 

Meetixo, Jan. 28, 1S56. 

This meeting was called for substantially, the same purpose as 
that of Jan. 31, 1854, viz.. to consider the question of surrendering 
the charter of incorporation of the town. 

" Voted to have the petition presented to the meeting and read for 
the information of the voters. — Miner Gold Esq read the Petition." 

A motion was made to pass over the petition or article under 
which it had come before the meeting. 

A division of the house was demanded on this motion and the 
petitioners and all in favor of the surrender of the charter swayed to 
one side of the town hall while those who opposed were arrayed on 
the other. The change in sentiment since the meeting of Jan. 31, 
1854, was manifested when only sixteen could be counted for surren- 
der, to seventy-three against. 

" Voted not to surrender the charter." 

A motion was made to set off John Russell and Sylvester Jewett to 
Amherst. " Voted not to set off John Russell and Sylvester Jewett." 

This is believed to be the last movement to surrender the charter, 


or to set off any portion of the town to Amherst or to other towns 
adjoining, until 1S67 when it was tried again and failed. This cause 
of disagreement and contention removed, the people were more con- 
tented with their surroundings, although they had seen the gradual 
decline in prosperity experienced by all hill towus. Very few of those 
who were active in the proposition to surrender the charter are alive 
now, and the episode is almost forgotten now that forty years have 
passed since the unusual and almost unheard of action of voting to 
surrender the charter occurred. 

Annual Meeting, April 4, 1859. 

The average amount of the annual appropriations for the years 
just previous to the breaking out of the rebellion, and the distribu- 
tion thereof can be studied by reference to the appropriations for 
1859 which follow : 

Voted $550 for schools, $800 for roads and bridges, to pay 12 cts. 
per hour for labor on roads, $500 for support of the poor,. $300 town 
debts, $400 for contingent expenses, total $2550. 

The appropriation for schools was divided proportionately among 
the eight districts, and the prudential committee of the several dis- 
tricts employed teachers, purchased fuel, etc. 

Meeting, May 24, i860. 

This meeting was called for a very singular purpose — one for 
which the voters had never before been called together. Mr. 
Fay of Brookfield had driven some cattle into town to graze dur- 
ing the summer, and the cattle were suspected of being tainted with 
pleuro-pneumonia and the people were excited, fearing a spread of 
the disease among the herds in town. James M. Cowan. Calvin D. 
Eaton, Philander Bartlett, Dexter Thompson and Thomas Buffum 
were chosen a committee to confer with committees from adjoining 
towns in reference to the cattle disease and $100 was voted for use 
in exterminating the pleuro-pneumonia. The infected district was 
east of the highway leading from the center to Shutesbury and north 
of the main highway leading from the center to Prescott. All per- 
sons were forbidden to remove any cattle from that district, and also 
charged not to let them run at large, or to drive infected or exposed 
cattle on the public highways. 



The first recorded evidence of the existence of the civil war was in 
a warrant for a special meeting, Aug. 31, 1861, as follows: 

Article 6. To see if the town will vote to raise money for the support of 
the families of Volunteers who have gone to the war or who may go, and 
how much. 

'■ Voted to pass the 6th article." 

Return of men liable to military duty as made out by the Asses- 
sors, Aug. 14, 1 86 1 : — 

Sylvester Jewett 
John Shaw 
William Myrick 
Hiram Tuttle 
Charles O. Parmenter 

C. D. Gray 
George Tufts 
Henry Barrows 
Elisha Thornton 
A. S. Barton 
S. F. Arnold 
Henry Wheeler 

D. N. Squares 
Stillman Abercrombie 
Jolm B. Ward 
Nelson Witt 
William Avery 
Franklin Bramble 
Tyler D. Aldrich 
Olney Aldrich 
Martin Aldrich 
Sanford Boyden 
Henry Conklin 
William Comstock 
Henry Cook 
Aaron Cook 
Nathan C. Canterbury 
James M. Cowan 
Francis Dodge 
Seth Davis 
Frederick R. Dane 
James Fales 
Russell W. Whipple 
Milo W. Field 

Asahel Gates 
Marcus C. Grout 
Theodore Gold 
Levi W Gold 
William H annum 
Lucian Hill 
(Gilbert G. Hunt 
Elbridge F. Horr 
Russell Hildreth 
Rufus P. King 
(jcorge Knight 
Charles Kimball 
Sanford Lovett 
Francis Latham 
O. S. Latham 
Levi H. Moulton 
John F. Moulton 
John F. Nichols 
Joseph Park 
D. F. Packard 
William F. Reed 
John Shay 
C. H. Taylor 
Philo Thompson 
Lucian Winslow 
Joseph G. Ward 
"David H. Allen 
Estus Barnes 
Emerson Bartlett 
Arctus J. Cadwell 
Lemuel R. Chapin 
Charles R. Cleveland 
Lewis Dodge 
HoUis Dodge 

•Samuel B. Dodge 
William B. Downing 
Myron Buffum 
Gilbert H. Firman 
Elon G. Firman 
Albert A. Grout 
Otis Griffin 
Ziza Planks 
Warner Hanks 
Joseph Hunt 
Joshua Nickerson 
John N. Pitman 
Stephen Rhodes 
John Root 

Marcenus B. Richardson 
Cyrenus T. Richardson 
Warren Randall 
Alonzo C. Randall 
John Rider 
(jeorge Shaw 
E. S. Southwick 
Timothy Twohig 
Richard Twohig 
John Willis 
Moses L. Ward 
George Wilson 
Heman D. Eaton 
Myrett E. Boynton 
Harrison Horr 
Theodore F. Cook 
George D. Davis 
Israel Taylor 

Meeting, November i, 186 i. 

The question of help to families of volunteers came up under 
"Article 2. To see if the tOM^n will vote to raise money for the sup- 
port of families of Volunteers as provided in an Act passed by the 
last Legislature or instruct the Selectmen or take any other action in 
relation thereto when convened.'' 

,^^* ^'.* 






''Voted to instruct the Selectmen to borrow as much money as is 
necessary to pay the famihes of Volunteers who have gone to War. 

Calvin D. Eaton, Town Clerk." 

From 1862 to 1892. 

Action for Relief of Soldiers^ Families, 1862.- — Draft for Men in i86j. 
— Heavy Taxes After the War. — Number of Schools Reihiced 
from Eight to Four in 18^4. — Few Town Meetings Annually 
After That.— Blizzard of 1888.— Death of Sylvester fewett, 
i8g2. — History of the Old Meeting House. 

Meeting, July 21, 1862. 

This meeting, called while the people of the town were at work in 
the hayfields, shows the importance of the business they were called 
to act upon. The war of the rebellion was raging and volunteers had 
been going forth to fight for the country leaving their families behind 
them in needy circumstances, and the town was called together to 
take action as articles in the warrant prove. 

" Article Second, To see if the town will vote to empower the selectmen 
to borrow money to pay the families of Volunteers now gone to war all 
sums they may be entitled, also the families of those volunteers which may 
go hereafter. 

Article Fifth, To see what sums of money if any the town will vote to 
raise to pay as bounty to Volunteers. 

Article Sixth, To see what means the town will take to raise this Bounty 
Money, — by borrowing it, or by taxation at the present time." 

Acting on the second article the town " Voted to empower the 
Selectmen to Borrow Money to pay the families of Volunteers that 
have gone to the war or who may go hereafter, — a sum not exceed- 
ing Seven hundred dollars." 

Acting on the fifth article the town " Voted to Authorize the Select- 
men to borrow One Hundred dollars for Each Volunteer, Not exceed- 
ing ten in number, who may enlist under the Call of the Governor of 
Massachusetts from this town, and that the same be assessed in the 
next annual assessment of taxes in the town of Pelham. 



Voted to take this question by Yeas and Nays and the vote was so 
taken, and the following voters answered Yes to their names and No 
as it is written against their Names." 

The importance and the scope of this vote, and what it might lead 
to as a precedent, probably led to the decision to make the record 
by a yea and nay roll call. There was a little opposition to such 
large appropriations for the people of the toM'n to pay, but the large 
majority were in earnest to put down secession and willing to con- 
tribute liberally for bounties and for the help of families of volunteers. 
There were few if any suspected of " secesh " opinions, and the fact 
that some men answered No,- is not to be considered as exhibiting a 
lack of patriotic desire to crush the rebellion. It being the first 
record of a yea and nay vote the record is copied in full. 

" Arnold, Samuel F 


Hildreth, Russell 


Abercrombie, George 


Jewett, Sylvester 


Buffum, Thomas 


Jenks. Lyman 


Boyington, Silas 


Knight, Philander 


Barrows, Henry 


Kimball, Samuel 


Barnes, Ansel 


Lesure, Jesse 


Barnes, Estus 


Latham, F. A. 


Boyden, Sanford 


Latham, O. S. 


Bartlett, Pliilander 


Myrick. William L 


Bent, G. R. 


Nichols, John 


Chapin, Lemuel R 


Newell, Lemuel H 


Chapin, Luther 


Rankin, Ansel A 


Clough, Warren 


Randall, Arba 


Cook, Ziba 


Presho, Zadock 


Cook, Lewis 


Packard. David F 


Cook, Olnev 


Pitman, John N 


Cowan, J M 


Randall, Alonzo 


Dodge, Lewis 


Richardson, Marcene 


Dodge, Hollis 


Randall, Warren 


Downing, Wm B 


Shaw, George 


Davis, Samuel 


Stone, Eliab 


Dowden, Wm H 


Tutde, Hiram 


Eaton, Calvin D 


Thurber, William 


Fales, Abijah 


Thompson, Dexter 


Firman, Albert 


Thompson, Edmund 


Field, Milo 


Thompson, George 


Gray, Horace 


Tufts, George 


Gray, CD. 


Whipple, Russell jr 


Gates, Asahel 


Ward, Moses L 


Grout, Marcus C 


Ward, Hosea 


Gold, Miner 


Ward, John 


Gold, Levi 


Wilson, George H 


Hills, Lucian 


Ward. Joseph G 


Hunt, Joseph 


Ward, John B 


Hamilton, Joseph 


Witt, Nelson 


Fifty seven voted in 

the Affirm? 

itive and Thirteen in the 


Calvin D. Eaton, Town 



Meeting, Aug. 29, 1S62. 

This was another meeting called in the busy season of the Pelham 
farmers, but there had been a call for 300,000 men by President 
Lincoln and the business for which the meeting was called was laid 
before the voters in this article. 

"Article 2'', To see what Measures or Means the town will take to raise 
her quota or proportion of the 300,000 men last Called for by the President 
of the United States. 

Article 3'', To pass all votes necessary or judged Expedient in order to 
Carry out the aforesaid Means or Measures which the town when convened 
may see fit." 

Sylvester Jewett was chosen moderator and the action of the town 
is shown in the following recorded vote : 

" Voted that the Selectmen be hereby authorized and empowered 
to procure all money necessary by borrowing it for the town or draw- 
ing it from the treasury as most convenient, and pay the sum of One 
Hundred dollars to Each person Entitled thereto when Mustered into 

The vote on the above article was taken by the yeas and nays, 
69 voting in the affirmative and three in the negative. 

Meeting, Oct. 20, 1862. 
The article that was the main feature of the warrant was : 

" To See if the town will vote to pay the One Hundred dollars bounty to 
the five Men over our quota of nine months men that are now in Camp at 

The response was prompt and to the point. " Voted to pay the 
five men now in Camp at Greenfield, over and above our quota, One 
Hundred dollars Each.'' 

Meeting, April 4, 1863. 

" Voted to allow the selectmen to borrow as much money as neces- 
sary to pay state aid to families." 

Meeting, April, 23, 1863. 

Moderator, John Jones. " Voted to Authorize the Selectmen to 
borrow a sum not Exceeding Eight Hundred dollars to pay the fami- 
lies of Volunteers and give town obligations for the same. 

Voted To Instruct the Selectmen to withhold two months pay 


from the families of Volunteers after the r' of August next instead of 
one Month as they now do." 

Meetinc;, June 20, 1863. 

" Voted that John Jones be an Agent for the town of Pelham to go 
before the Commissioner and use all lawful means to get from our 
Soldier rolls all Soldiers that ought to be exempt, And to pay all 
reasonable expense he may be at."' 

The frequent calls for men to till the quota of many towns in the 

state was greater than the number of those who would volunteer, and 

the authorities were obliged to issue a call for a draft in July 1863, 

The following is the list of men drafted at Greenfield. July 20. 1863, 

from Pelham. 

George B. Davis .Solomon .Slater 
Philo Thompson (jilbert H. Firman 
Nathaniel H. Cook Theodore F. Cook 
Frederic R. Dane Joel Cutting- 
John N. Pitman James D. Mower 
Albert Pratt John S. Willis 
Hollis Dodge William Squares 
Heman D. Eaton George H. Willson 
John T. Fales Charles H. Jenks 
George A. Gardner Levi W. Gold 
Calvin D. Gray 

Meeting, June i, 1864. 

This meeting was called at 3 o'clock p. m. because it was in the 
busy season for farmers, and the important business for which the 
town was called together is set forth in Article 2 of the warrant : 

'•Article 2 To see what action the town will take in relation to procuring 
.Substitutes for the Men that may be accepted on t'.ie present draft, and 
all future drafts, or to till all future quotas without a draft, and also in rela- 
tion to Compensating the men that were drafted and accepted in 1S63 in this 

" Voted to raise the sum of one hundred and twenty five dollars 
apiece for all persons who may volunteer and are accepted into the 
United States Service. 

Voted to Authorize the Selectmen to borrow and pay one hundred 
and twenty five dollars each, for Seventeen Volunteers to fill the 
quota of the town of Pelham under the present, and future Calls for 

Voted that John Jones, David F. Packard, Cyrus A. Wade and 
Moses Redding be agents to procure Substitutes for all future Calls 
for men from this town. 


Voted to Authorize the Selectmen to furnish the above agents with 
money sufficient to bear their expenses in recruiting." 

Sylvester Jewett, Moderator. 
C. D. Eaton, Town Clerk. 

"Meeting, Aug. i6, 1865." 

(This meeting- was probably held in 1864.) 

The record of this meeting is incomplete there being no warrant 
spread upon the book. The moderator is not given, nor is the 
fragmentary record signed l)y the town clerk. All of the record is 

" At a legal meeting warned by the Selectmen and assembled in 
the town hall August i6, 1864 They passed the following votes, viz. 

Voted to pay $125.00 to Every man who shall be one to fill the 
present quota of Seven. 

Voted that John Jones be an agent to obtain Men from any quarter 
he may think best to go, and to pay his necessary Expenses. 

Voted to accept of Moses Redding's account as settled by John 

Voted to dissolve this meeting." 

Meeting, ^Vpril 3, 1865. 
"Voted that the selectmen be authorized to borrow and appropri- 
ate the amount of money they can lawfall}^ for recruiting purposes." 

Meeting, May 27, 1865. 

The war was substantially over and no more men would be called 
for, and this meeting was called to take measures to equalize the 
burdens that had fallen upon individuals as outlined in the main 
article of the warrant : 

" Article 2 To see if the town will appropriate Money to reimburse 
money contributed to furnish recruits according to an act approved April 25 
1865 ^i''d if so to give instructions in regard to raising such money." 

Moderator, Sylvester Jewett. " Voted to raise four thousand dol- 
lars to be divided pro rata among those who have paid money to fill 
the quotas of the town during the war. 

Voted to adjourn this Meeting two weeks from to-day at 2 o'clock 
p. M." 

Met according to adjournment, and passed the following vote 
|une 10, 1865. 


" Voted to reconsider the vote passed May 27, 1865 to raise four 
thousand dollars to be divided among those who have paid Money 
to fill the quotas of the town during the war." 

The haste with which this liberal proposition was reconsidered is 
evidence that it was not given due consideration before it was first 
passed. The war was over now, and the large sums the town had 
been obliged to raise by borrowing and otherwise had made the rate 
of taxation high, and to pay interest and small amounts upon the 
debt, caused by the war expenses, kept the rate high for many years. 
The rate of taxation rose to $25 or more, on $1000 and hovered 
near $20 per 1000 for a long time. 

The amount of money raised by taxation increased for a number 
of years after the war closed. The total amount raised by taxation 
for the year 1865 was $4270.79; for 1866, $4961.22; for 1867, 
S5321.21; for 1868, $5557-81; for 1869, $4436.92; for 1870, S5429.38; 
for 1871, $4874.98; for 1872, $5429.38. 

To raise these sums by taxation when the valuation of the town 
was shrinking every year, and the population growing less each 
year, in common with other hill towns, caused the burden of taxation 
to rest hea\ily upon the people until the war debt was lessened by 
small appropriations yearly to apply upon the principal, thereby 
lessening the yearly interest charge until the town debt is now nearly 
wiped out. 

Schools and School Districts. 

There was much agitation and numerous town meetings during the 
year 1867 upon the question of schools and school districts. The 
first of these was held Jan. 30. There was a proposition to abolish 
the school districts, and it was voted to abolish them. Then they 
voted to set up four schools. Then committees were chosen to 
locate the school-houses. There was no unanimity of feeling, conse- 
quently no satisfactory conclusions were reached, and the meeting 
was adjourned to Feb. 13 when it was voted to have three schools. 
This proposition was not satisfactory to some and the meeting was 
adjourned to the first Monday in April, and the vote to have three 
schools was reconsidered. Then it was voted to support seven 
schools and to have them in the school-houses as at present located. 
This vote was not carried out because the town did not need so 
many schools, but the people did not seem ready to do what the 


more intelligent knew must be done ultimately, viz.: A reduction in 
the number of schools, and a relocation of the school-houses ; and 
meeting after meeting was held until the work was finally accom- 
plished and the eight school districts abolished, and four schools 

Special Meeting, Nov. i6, 1867. 

For ten years there had been no agitation for setting off any por- 
tion of the town to an adjoining town, or for surrendering the 
charter, but the leading article in the warrant for this special meeting 
was to bring up the question of surrendering the charter and setting 
off the territory covered by the charter to the adjoining towns. 

Alfred Taylor was chosen moderator of the special meeting, and 
there were nearly one hundred voters present on Saturday the i6th 
of Nov. The meeting being called at thirty minutes past twelve 
o'clock of the short November afternoon. 

A motion was made to pass Article two and the motion was car- 
ried by a majority of two votes, 45 voting to dismiss the article and 
43 against it. 

A motion to reconsider the vote was made by John Jones, but the 
voters refused to reconsider, 46 voting to reconsider and 48 against it. 

Meeting, April 6, 1868. 

"A^oted that the selectmen be instructed to hire a certain number 
of men to repair the highways and bridges in this town the ensuing 
year. Not to work themselves personally but to superintend the 
whole. And that the Superintendence shall not exceed in cost the 
expense of work on said highways." 

The name of the man who made the motion which preceded the 
above vote is not on the record, but he was doubtless of a sarcastic 
turn of mind. 

" Voted that sextons be paid for digging graves for all citizens of the 
town out of the treasury. 

Voted to pay Freeman C. Carver four dollars for services as mod- 

Appraisal of the school houses as reported by the board of assess- 
ors, i86g : District No. i appraised at S325, No. 2 at $300, No. 3 
at $200, No. 4 at $300, No. 5 at $300, No. 6 at $400, No. 7 at $100. 

212 history of pelham, mass. 

Meeting, May 22, 1869. 

The people still resisted the inevitable and fought for seven schools 
as indicated by the following votes : 

" Voted to occupy the seven school houses on their present locations. 

Voted that the school committee be instructed to set up a school 
in district No. i and district No. 6 this fall and to set up seven 
schools next winter in the present school houses." 

There was great damage by floods in Oct., 1869, and there was a 
special meeting to see about repairs. 

Meeting, March 15, 1870. 

Article 2'* To see if the town will consent to surrender its charter and 
divide its territory between the towns of Amherst, Prescott, Enfield and 
Belchertown as already petitioned for to the Legislature by the citizens of 
Pelham, and also to designate lines of division. 

" Voted that we surrender our charter — 86 in favor, 36 against. 

Voted, that we draw a line straight across from the Northeast cor- 
ner of Belchertown to the Northwest corner of Enfield, and merge all 
territory now belonging to Pelham in Belchertown or Enfield. And 
then starting at the center of the North line of Pelham, run parallel 
with the west line of said Pelham to the south line, merging all West 
of said line in the town of Amherst and all east of said line in the 
town of Prescott. 

Made choice of John Jones, Ansel A. Rankin, Philander Bartlett 
and William B. Downing a committee to appear before the legisla- 
tive committee." 

Amherst refused to consider the proposition of annexation. The 
Legislature refused to grant the petition of the town for surrender of 
its charter. There has been no further effort to surrender the 
charter, although the town has lost much in inhabitants and in valua- 
tion since 1870. 

There were eight town meetings during the year 1870 and almost 
the entire business was concerning schools or school-houses, and the 
vexed questions involved were not yet settled. The records of those 
meetings are interesting reading in some respects but on the whole 
becomes monotonous and tiresome. That the people, or some of 
them, should insist on having eight schools in town when there were 
not pupils for more than four seems strange, but it is to be accounted 
for by the fact that it was hard to consent to breaking up of the old 


system of school districts and allow the town to manage the schools 
with little regard to the old lines and associations. There were 
many meetings during three or four years, or until 1874 before the 
consolidation of the districts was affected. 

Meeting, Feb. 8, 187 1. 

In the face of the failure of the petition to the Legislature for per- 
mission to surrender the charter of the town in 1870 Sylvester Jewett 
and Hiram Ballou petitioned the Legislature of 1871 to be set off to 
Amherst, and the meeting of the above date was called. Action of the 
meeting : Made choice of C. D. Eaton as agent for the town to oppose 
the petition of Messrs. Jewett and Ballou for a change of town line. 

The petitioners failed in their attempt to get set off and the lines 
of the old town remained intact. The town would vote to surrender 
the charter, but would not allow one or two men to go. 

The amount assessed upon the tax payers of Pelham for the year 
187 1 by the assessors was as follows: State tax, $625.00 ; County 
tax, $410.21: Town grant, $3700.00; Overlayings, $136.19; Delin- 
quent, $538.00 ; Total, $5429.38. 

Annual Meeting, April 5, 1875. 

" Voted to change the time of holding the iinnual meeting from the 
first Monday in April to the second Monday in March. 

Voted to pay the Moderator two dollars for his services. 

Voted that W. K. Vaille, S. Jewett and A. A. Rankin formulate 
by-laws for the town and report at next meeting. 

A. C. Keith, Town Clerk.'" 

Meeting, Nov. 7, 1876. 

The year 1876 is a remarkable one in the history of the town in 
there being only two town meetings during the year. The annual 
meeting in March, and the annual November election. 

The consolidation of the school districts had removed a bone of 
contention that had caused much excitement for two or three years 
and the town had been called together often to wrangle over the sub- 
ject. The year 1877 was like 1876 only two town meetings, the peo- 
ple being left to pursue the even tenor of their way, having no excit- 
ing public questions to consider in special town meetings, and so it 
was in 1878. There were only three meetings in 1879. 

2 14 history of pklham, mass. 

Annual Meetin(;, March 14, 1881. 

After the election of officers, the following votes were passed : 

"Voted that the Selectmen be instructed to let the town hall for 
dances only to select parties, who shall pay ten dollars per night for the 
use of the same, who shall be responsible for good order in the hall, 
and who shall employ a constable to preserve order, and that only tem- 
perate and orderly company shall at any time be admitted to the hall. 

Voted to rent the town hall for three dollars per evening for 
religious dances. 

Voted Sylvester Jewett $1.50 for services as Moderator. 

Adam Cole, Town Clerk." 

Meeting, December 17, 1881. 

This meeting was called to accept the bequest of Samuel Wright 
of Northampton, deceased, as explained in the warrant. 

■' Article 2. To see if the town will vote to accept of the bequest of the late 
Samuel Wright of Northampton of One Thousand Dollars the income of 
which is to be given annually to widows, aged and intirm persons and 
orphan children. All being residents of said town and not town paupers, 
and appoint a board of trustees to invest the same."' 

"Voted to accept the bequest with the conditions annexed. 

Voted that the present board of Selectmen be appointed trustees. 

S. Jewett, Moderator." 

The year 1886 was the fifth year in succession in which the people 
came together at the annual March meeting, chose their town officers, 
raised and appropriated the money for paying for all the town 
expenses, and then returned to their homes and contentedly attended 
to their own individual affairs until the November election of state 
officers, and a representative to the General Court for the district to 
which the town belonged. At no time except March and November 
were the voters called together in town meeting. Only ten town 
meetings in five years, hardly more than were held in a single year 
sometimes. This five years of restfulness from town meeting excite- 
ments was never equalled in the history of the town, and only once 
was there a term of years approaching this in its freedom from numer- 
ous town meetings. 1876, '77 and '78 were notable for having the 
number of town meetings reduced to its lowest terms, viz., two each 

town meeting records. 215 

Annual Meeting, March 12, 1888. 

This meeting was a notable one in the history of the town in some 
respects, altliough the work of electing officers and appropriating 
money proceeded without any peculiar incidents of note. 

The snows of a century and a half had whirled around the old Meet- 
ing house in which the town meeting was held the twelfth of March, 
1888, but the snow that day filled the air as it had never been known 
to do before, and the keen blasts from the north had been piling it up 
in drifts in every direction while the people were voting money 
and discussing the important questions covered by the articles in the 
warrant. When the meeting dissolved and the voters started out 
from the town hall they became aware that a blizzard was upon them 
such as none had ever seen before, and one that all records of great 
storms the town had suffered from before, came far short in compari- 
son. The cold was intense and the fierce wind froze ears and cheek 
as the voters started out for their teams. Night was fast coming on 
and many who were detained longer than the rest found it impossible 
to make headway among the drifts, and the intense cold made the 
attempt positively dangerous. Something like twenty voters were 
obliged to stay over night, and the house of Town Clerk J. W. Keith 
was filled with the storm bound. Luckily an Amherst meat peddler 
was among those that the deep snow and the cold had obliged to 
seek the shelter alTorded by Mr. Keith. 

All night the storm howled and the fast falling snow piled the 
drifts higher, and when Tuesday morning dawned the impossibility 
of moving along the snow drifted roads, either on foot or by team 
was greatly increased, and the fury of the blizzard was still undimin- 
ished. All clay Tuesday the beleagured ones were forced to remain 
the guests of Mr. Keith, and when the night closed down, though the 
storm had substantially subsided, the great drifts were impassable. 
On Wednesday a portion of the imprisoned voters succeeded in 
reaching their homes while those living farther away dared not 
attempt it, and not all succeeded in surmounting the drifts and get- 
ting home until Thursday. 

But the meat peddler's sleigh had a pretty good stock of beef and 
pork, and all were well fed and made as comfortable as possible. 

None of those who were obliged to quarter themselves upon Town 
Clerk Keith at that time will ever forget the blizzard of March 12 
and 13, 1 888, or the generous and hospitable manner in which Mr. 


Keith entertained them during their enforced visit at his house. All 
reached their homes in safety however, but those who battled with 
the storm and the drifts that Monday night, did so after hours of 
hard struggle. Altogether it was probably the worst storm that was 
ever known in the town, certainly the only one that was given a 
record on the town books. 

Skeich (jf Sylvester Jeweti'. 

Special meeting Jan. 23, 1892 was called to elect a successor to 
Sylvester Jewett, Chairman of the board of Selectmen, who had died 
on the loth of the month, and to fill another vacancy on the board 
caused by the removal from town of H. R. Davidson. 

Mr. Jewett was not a native of Pelham but came to town with his 
family from Northampton March ist, 1857, settled upon the Hark- 
ness farm which has the line between Amherst and Pelham for its 
western boundary. Mr. Jewett was an active man of 34, intelligent 
and competent, and at once took a deep interest in the affairs of the 
town. He was first elected upon the board of assessors in 1858, 
and from that time until his death there were but a few years that he 
was not an otificer of the town, either as selectman, assessor, or as a 
member of the school committee. On the school board he was 
elected for three terms of three years each, and in all ser\ed eleven 
years. He served as assessor for thirty years, and for twenty years 
of the time was also on the board of selectmen, most of the time 
serving as chairman on both boards. For much of this time the 
selectmen were also the overseers of the poor, which increased the 
burden of responsibility upon the chairman not a little. Mr. Jewett 
was quite often chosen as Moderator of the annual as well as the 
special meetings, and in e\ery position of responsibilitv he was called 
upon to fill, discharged the duties laid upon iiim with intelligence 
and faithfulness. Very few men have served the town with more 
desire for its best interests than did Mr. Jewett, and but one man 
has ever served for more years than he did. The office of town clerk 
was held from 174610 1781 by John Dick: but Mr. Dick did not 
serve the town in many other positions during that time. Afr. Dick 
served continuously for thirty-five years while Mr. Jewett served 
thirty years out of thirty-four as assessor, twenty as selectman and 
and eleven on the school board, making much the greatest service 





the town has ever received from any one man. In politics Mr. 
fewett was an anti-slavery man, and upon the formation of the 
republican party he gave his support to it, and labored zealously for 
its success and the overthrow of slavery. He was also active in 
religious work ; being an active member and officer of the Second 
Congregational church at Amherst, but mingled freely with the 
Methodist people in religious work. In 1869 Mr. Jewett was nomi- 
nated by the republicans of the Fifth Hampshire district, which inclu- 
ded Belchertown, Granby and Pelham, for representative to the 
General Court. He was elected and made an honorable record for 
himself, the town and district, at the following session of the legis- 
lature. Sylvester Jewett was born at Northampton August 18, 1824, 
and was the son of Ansel Jewett, for many years a resident of North- 
ampton, and was 67 years of age at his death. 

Where town meetin:,rs have been held for 154 consecutive 


1739 TO 1897. 

For the last ten years, or more, the people have moved quietly along 
from year to year, with little of startling interest for record upon the 
town books, or to any one who may have been interested in the town 


meeting records of earlier date, wlien matters of importance were 
pressing for consideration ; consequently we have only made a record 
of town officers elected during these later years, which is to be found 
elsewhere. At the annual meeting in March, 1897 an appropration was 
made for repairs upon the town hall and the sum has been expended 
in sheathing the ceiling of the ancient building and in other needful 
repairs, so that now the old meeting house or town hall seems to be 
in condition for service to several generations yet to come ; unless 
destroyed by tire or cyclone, as the huge a'cUow pine beams that were 
originally for the support of the galleries on one side and the two 
ends of the building, seem sound and strong enough to support the 
floor of the upper room now used as a town hall. In April 1845 
it was "Voted to lay a lioor across the gallery and move the stove 
now in the old meeting house above and repair it suitable for a town 
house, meaning the upper part of the old meeting house." Since 
that time the upper portion of the building has been used for town 
purposes and the lower part for storage, except a small room on the 
lower floor in the southwest corner used for the library, selectmen's 
room, and a vault for the town records, built in 1890. The repairs 
referred to above have added much to the appearance of the room, 
and to the comfort of the people who assemble for town meetings, 
and social gatherings. 

The first record in relation to a meeting house was the vote at Capt. 
Daniel Heywoods house in Worcester, where the proprietors held a 
meeting Feb. 26, 1738-9, instructing the committee, which reads as 
follows : — " That then they do in the Center of the whole Tract as 
near as they in their Judgments Shall think proper lay out Ten Acres 
for a Meeting House Place, burying place and Training field &:c." 
At the first meeting of the proprietors on the newly purchased tract 
Aug. 6, 1740, at the house of John Fergerson, it was "Voted that 
the Meeting House be 46 feet in leangth and 36 in weadth." At the 
same meeting ^^120 in part for a meeting house was voted. Imme- 
diately following this vote is another appropriation of ^120, which 
some think was a .second sum of ^120 voted for the meeting house, 
but it is more probable that William Gray, proprietors' clerk, made 
two records of the same vote, although one is numbered " Fourthly " 
and the other " Fifthly ". 

May 19, 1741 it was " Voted that there be ^^120 collected for the 
second payment on the Meeting house." Sept i, 1741 " Voted that 


there be ^loo assessed for the last payment of the agreement for the 
Meeting House." The first meeting of tlie inhabitants of Pelham 
warned to be held in the Meeting House, was held April 19, 1743 for 
the choice of town officers under the act of incorporation. 

That meetings for worship were held in the unfinished meeting 
house for sometime before April 19, 1743 is quite probable, for itAvas 
" Voted Aug 5th 1740 that James McCoulough, James Thornton and 
Samuel Gray be a Comeety to agree with a workman to rease a Meet- 
ing House and inClose it and lay the under floor and hinge the doors 
and mack the windo frames. " It would seem improbable that the 
meeting house was not sufficiently advanced so that meetings for wor- 
ship or for gatherings of the proprietors on business could be held 
before April 1743. Those Scotch Presbyterians were not the men 
to allow the work on the meeting house to drag along two or three 
years before it was far enough advanced for holding meetings, but it 
might have been sometime before it was finished with gallery, pulpit 
and pews. 

The acceptance of the act of incorporation and the choice of town 
officers did not end the business of the original proprietors, for they 
continued to hold meetings for sometime after that. The first pro- 
prietors meeting called at the meeting house was that of May 16, 
1743, nearly a month after the first town meeting, and proprietors 
meetings were held there until April 8, 1746. About that time there 
was some unpleasantness between a portion of the proprietors and 
the town authorities and in consequence no more proprietors' meet- 
ings were called at the meeting house. 

Religious meetings prolDably began to be held in the meeting house 
as soon as the " under floor " was laid and the " doors hinged " in 
the summer of 1740, although the final settlement with Thomas and 
John Dick, the builders, was not recorded until July 24, 1744, when it 
was '' Voted that Thomas and John Dick be allowed the sum of ^30 
according to the old tenor in case they Delivered up their bounds 
which they Received from the Commetty that agreed with them to 
build the Meeting House." 

There are no pews, or remains of the old square box pews on the 
ground floor of the ancient building but at the west end of the upper 
or town hall room, the stout yellow pine frame-work of the gallery 
seats are still intact. The pulpit was on the north side of the build- 
ing and high enough to command a view of the gallery seats as well 


as of the pews beneath. A picture of that portion of the pulpit in 
which the minister stood and which was reached by a winding flight 
of stairs, accompanies this sketch. Above the preacher's head hung 
the " sounding board, " which was deemed an absolutely necessary 
equipment in the days so long past. 

In summer, on Sundays, and on lecture days, when no fires were 
needed, and during the long cold winters when none could be had, 
these Scotch Presbyterian men and women gathered at the meeting- 
house and listened to two long sermons, or a long lecture prepara- 
tory to the Communion table, and received from the hands of the 
pastor or elder the lead token that would admit the possessor to that 
ordinance ; — this they continued to do for many years, for not until 
183 1 was there any arrangement for warming the meetinghouse. 
Nov. 14th of that year it was " Voted that the subscribers for procur- 
ing a stove have a privilege of setting it up in the meeting house 
providing they obtain it and support it throughout at their own 

In 1839 the corner stone of a new church building was laid by Rev. 
Nathan Perkins of Amherst, and after nearly a full century of occu- 
pancy for religious worship the old meeting house was moved back 
into the old burying-ground. The town meetings had always been 
held in the meeting house up to that time, and are still held therein, 
making 154 years that all the important and unimportant mat- 
ters of town business have been discussed and decided within its 
historic walls at town meetings, averaging eight to ten per year, since 
r743. Here they met and consulted with each other and took action 
during the French and Indian war, the war of the Revolution, the 
war of 1812, the Shays Rebellion, and the war of the Rebellion. 
Altogether the old meeting house has been a very useful building, and 
about it gathers more of historic interest than attaches to any 
other similar structure in this part of the state. 


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See Page 104. 

O =1, 




From 1744 to 1897. 

EstahlisJimcnt of Schools in 1744. — School Committees. — Appropriations. 

Establishment of Schools in Pelham. 

Notwithstanding all the great labour and expense attendant upon 
the purchase and settlement of this tract of land, — the clearing 
away and building of roads and bridges, — the clearing away of the 
forest, and the building of their log houses, — the breaking up of por- 
tions of their home lots for cultivation to raise crops for the sustenance 
of themselves and families, — the work of building the meeting house, 
besides the many other necessary matters demanding attention to 
make their homes and families comfortable ; — yet it was but little more 
than a year after the act of incorporation, and organization under it, 
before they began to feel the importance of a school, and the necessary 
action on the part of the town, took place on the 26th of April, 
1744. Samuel Gray was Moderator of the meeting, and the recorded 
vote is as follows. 

" Voted that there be a scole Keept in town for y" Space of two 
Months, at ye Dwelling House of Ephriam Cowan, one Month, one 
Month at ye Dwelling house William Grays. " 

Ephraim Cowan lived on home lot No. 42 and was probably the 
same farm known as the Collins Brailey place fifty years ago, and 
now owned by Stephen Rhodes. 

William Gray lived on home lot No. 1 1 about a mile Northeast 
of the old meeting house, at the center of the town. 

No appropriation or allowance was made for the cost of the school; 
nor was there any school committee chosen to employ schoolmasters, 
— for it must be assumed that school masters were employed, as very 
few if any women were capable of filling the position of teacher at that 
early day. Nor is it probable that girls attended school when schools 
were first established. Sewing, knitting, spinning and weaving and 
the ordinary duties of housekeeping, was considered enough for 
women to know, and the girls acquired all that at home. 

224 history of pelham, mass. 

Meeting May 14, 1745. 

It was " Voted that there be a scole Keept in town this Present 
year. — y'' time for Keeping s'' scole is in ye Months of August and 
September and y" Place is at y"^ Meeting house in s'' Pelham. " No 
allowance of money was made to meet the expense, — and no bills 
were brought in to the debit and credit meeting for settlement for 
this year; — after that, fixed appropriations were voted for schools, 
and school committees came into use to hire school masters, etc., but 
school committees were not elected regularly at each annual meeting 
until about 1786. 

1746. " It was Voted that there be Thirty Six Pounds Raised to 
Pay a Scole Master for Keeping Scole. " 

" Voted y' there be a Scole in y" town y" Six Months Insuing or 
as soon as Convency Will allow. 

Voted that y"^ scole be Keept two Months at y' Meetinghouse & 
two Months at Ephriam Cowans & two Months at Alexander Con- 
keys. Voted that John Conkey, Thomas Dick & John Gray be a 
Committee to Provide a Scole Master for y" town for y" Six Months. " 

Meeting March ii 1747. 

It was " Voted that there be Scole in town Six Months, to begin 
at the first IJay of June Nixt & to continue Six Months following, — 
Voted also that ye Scole is to go no further than ye Nole Betwixt 
James Taylors &: Alexander Conkey's and two Months at ye Meet- 
ing House and to go no further than the Bridge at Ephriam Cowans 
— Voted that ye Scole Money be Assessed with the Debt & Credit 
Money. " 

In 1748 it was " Voted that there be a Scole Six Months to begin 
the first of June Nixt and that the Scole be Keept as it was last year." 

In 1749 it was " Voted that there be ^140 old tenor for a Scole 
this present year to be Keept one third of ye Time at John Savige's 
and one third of ye Time at Samuel Taylor's and one third of ye 
time at ye Meeting House, — Said Scole is to be Keept, Month about 
at each Plase & said Scole is to Begin att ye Meetinghouse. 

April 10, 1750. "Six Pounds thirteen Shillings and four Pence 
Lawful Money is Voted for Support of Scole for this Present year. " 

In 1 75 1. " ^6-13-4'' was allowed for Scole this Present year and 
Patrick Peebles and John Savige and John Hunter be a Committee 
to provide Scole. "' 


In 1752. ;^S — was allowed for support of Scole and it was 
" Voted that there be a Committee chosen to provide a Scole Master, 
said Committee is John Stinson, Robert Lotheridge & Andrew 
Maklam. " 

1753. " ^5 — 6 — 8 allowed for Scole this year. " 

1754. " £S — o — o allowed for Schole the Present Year. " 

" Voted that the town be divided in regard to the Scole — Voted 
Negatively that there be no Committee. " 

April 24, 1755. " Voted that the Scole Be Keept at the Ivleeting 
House & the East Hill & the West End Each place to have thare Proper 
Sheable Share — Also Voted that there be a Schole House Built at 
the Meeting House. — Likewise Voted that thare Be a Scole House 
Built at the West End — Also Voted that there Be a Scole House 
Built at the East Hill. " 

March 24, 1756. "Voted that there is ^40 allowed for the support 
of a Scole for the Present Year — Voted that the town is to be Divi- 
ded Into five parts — -Also voted that thare be a Committee Chosen to 
Divide said town as relating to ye Scole — Said Committee is James 
Berry, Thomas Hamilton, George Petteson, Thomas Johnson & 
Alexander Turner. " 

T757. " ^13 — 6' — 8'' Voted for Schools the Present year and 
that James Berry, John Clark, David Cowden, John Blair & Thomas 
Johnson be a Committee to provide a School Master. " 

1758. " The Allowance for Schools was ;^i3 — 6' 8'. There 
was no action in relation to school houses or other school matter. " 

1759. — "^40 was Voted in lawful money to be Raised to Defray 
charges already arisen, " but nothing said about how much of it was 
for schools. 

1760. David Houston, Patrick McMullen, Thomas Hamilton. 
William Harkness and James Furgerson were chosen a committee to 
" Place the Scole Houses said Scole Houses to be Laid as other 
Reats. " 

The School houses were placed in such Quarter of the town, and 
" Each Pole is allowed 3 Shillings pr Day at Building the Scole 
Houses " 

1 761. ;^i8 was allowed for the support of School this Present 
year and " Voted that the Scole is to be continued the whole year. 
Yo-ted that Each Quarter Build their own Scole Houses, and 


later, men were chosen to have charge of money appropriated for 
Schole houses in the several quarters of the town. 

1762, ^13— 6"— 8''. 1763, ^13—6^—8. 1764, ;^i3— 6^— 
S- 1765, £20. 1766, £20. £2^0 allowed for the support of 
Schools from 1767 to 1770. 

In 1770 it was " voted that there is Alterations to be Made in the 
School Quarters and that the Under named Persons are set off by 
themselves as a School Quarter, To VVite — William Conkey, Alex- 
ander Conkey, James Taylor, James Pebels, Eliza Davenport, James 
Gilmore, John Anderson. John McCraken, John McCartney, James 
Hunter, James McCartney, John Hunter & William Hunter. " 

" Voted that the School Houses is to be Built & Repaired in Each 
Quarter of the town — Voted that there is ;^ioo allowed for Building 
School Houses in Each Quarter of the town — Likewise that Said 
Money be Divided to Each Quarter as the School Rate is Devided. " 

The allowance for Schools ranged from £2^ to ;^3o per year from 
1771 to 1778. 

1779. £100. 

March 22, 1780. Because of the almost worthless character of the 
Continental C'urrency, it was voted to allow ^1000 for Schools. 

1 78 1. The sum allowed for Schools this year was ^1500. The 
people were under the crushing burdens of the struggle for liberty, 
but they did not neglect to vote a liberal allowance for the support 
of the schools. 

1782. April II, ^30 was appropriated for schools. 

1783^ £ao. 1784, £ao. 1785, ^40- t^or many of the 
years after schools were established, all that the records show about 
them is the amount allowed or voted for their support. Up to this 
time School Committees had been chosen but a few years. 

1786. There was a return to the plan of electing a school com- 
mittee for the better management of the schools this year, and Dr. 
Robert Cutler, Ebenezer Liskam, John Crawford, Timothy Packard, 
Deacon Mathew Gray and Jonathan Hood were chosen to that 
important service. £c^o was allowed. 

1787. School Committee — Ebenezer Liskam, James McMullen, 
James Taylor, John Crawford, Caleb Keith and Jonathan Hood. 

At a meeting April 7th of this year it was " Voted Not to Devid 
the School Quarter where Dea. John Crawford is School Committee 
Man, " ;i^5o allowed. 


1788. No record of School Committee this year. ^50 allowed 
for schools. 

1789. ;^5o. No School Committee elected — In the Warrant for 
a town meeting May 4th of this year was this article : 

"To see if the Town will come into some Method that Each School Rick 
Shall Build and Maintain their own School Houses — also to see if the Town 
will set off a School Rick in the South Part of the Town. Seth Edson, 
Caleb Keith and Stephen Pettingill were voted into the new Edition taken 
from Belchertown." 

1790. School Commitee — James C. McMillen, Samuel Finton, 
David Conkey, Joseph Thompson, Lt. Henry McCoUoch, Lt John 
Rinkin, Jonathan Hood and John Straton. 

At a Meeting Jan. 14, 1790 it was " Voted that the whole of the 
School Money belonging to the South Quarter should be divided 
into three parts — The one half to be for the Benefit of the Middle 
Quarter and the other half to be equally divided in the other two 
extreme parts — one by Mr. Seth Edsons and the other by the County 
road by Mr. Thomas Dick's." £60 allowed. 

1 79 1. Alexander Berry, James C. McMillin, Joseph Thompson 
David Conkey, Lt. Henry McColloch, John Straton, Jonathan Hood, 
John Barber. ;^6o for schools. 

1792. Jonathan Hood, John Barber, Robert Houston, Joseph 
Thompson, David Conkey, James C. McMillin, Alexander Berry, 
John White. ^60 allowed for schools. 

1793. " Voted to Establish a school quarter out of the quarter 
south of the Meeting House and the quarter Dea. Crawford belongs 
to, with the center at the Meeting House. " Committee : James C. 
McMillan, Alexander Berry, David Conkey, Robert Houston, Joseph 
Thompson, John White, John Barber, Jonathan Hood. £Go for 

1794. Alexander Berry, James C. McMillin, William Conkey, 
John Peebles. Robert Houston, John \\'right, Jonathan Hood, John 
Barber. ^60 for schools. 

1795. Alexander Berry, James C. McMillin, William Conkey, 
Thomas Thurston, David Harkness, Jonathan Thayer, Lt. John Rin- 
ken, John Peebles. ^80 for schools. 

" At a legal meeting of the Inhabitance of the South School Quar- 
ter on the Second of June 1795 it was Voted to Divide the School 


Voted to Make the Divition by the farms of Messrs Elisha Searl, 
Thomas Montgomery, Samuel Cheever, WilUam Dunlap, — the afore- 
mentioned Farms to belong to the Middle or New School Quarter. 

Voted for the School Committee to request the Town to estab- 
lish the above Division." 

By the above record the power of the School quarters, School Ricks, 
or school districts to change their boundries is plainly indicated ; 
in this instance at least there was a meeting of the people of the 
school quarter — a new line was established, and the School Com- 
mittee requested to go forward and have the new lines established by 
the town." 

1796. School Committee — Alexander Berry, Archibald McMillan 
William Conkey, John Peebles, Samuel White, Nathaniel Sampson, 
Daniel Harkness. i^ioo allowed. 

1797. School Committee — Alexander Berry, David Wait, William 
Conkey, Eliot Gray, "Capt. Isaac Abercrombie, Robert Houston, Eliab 
Packard, Dea. Nathaniel Sampson, Daniel Harkness. ^100 allowed. 

The following important votes in reference to building and repair- 
ing school houses were passed May i, 1797. " Voted to raise a sum 
of Money to Build and Repair School Houses — Voted to Raise four 
Hundred Pounds to Build and repair school Houses." 

" Voted to Choose a trustee in Each School Quarter in s'' Town 
s"* trustees is Robert Houston, David Conkey, Lt. John Rinkin, Capt. 
Isaac Abercrombie, Dea. Nathaniel Sampson, Alexander Berry, 
Joseph Hamilton, David Wait and Isaac Tower. 

Voted that the Assessors Shall Commit District Lists of the 
Assesment of every School Rick to their Trustee Chosen for that 
Purpose whose Duty it shall be to Receive all or any Part of the 
tax and pay out for Labor and Material to Build s'' School Houses 
the Receipt of s"* Trustees is to Answer in Payment of the aforesaid 

Voted that in case any or a number of School Ricks shall not 
need the whole or any Part of the aforesaid tax to Build and Repair 
School Houses then it shall be the Duty of the Trustee by the 
Direction of a Majority of the School Ricks Notified for that purpose 
to apply to the assessors for a remit to pay the whole or such part of 
their taxes as is not needful for the purpose aforesaid. 

Voted that the Assessors shall Commit the Assesment of the sum 
of money voted to Build or Repair School Houses to the selectmen 
soon as mav be after the assesment. 

1 111. \ Al,l.l,\ 


Voted that the Trustees shall make a return of each mans name 
belonging to their Rick. 

Voted that the Trustees shall make a Return to the Selectmen 
of their doings sometime before the next Annual Meeting. " 

179S. School Committee — Alexander Berry, Bobert Crosett, 
George Cowan, William Conkey, Benjamin Jewett, Jonathan Pack- 
ard, James Rinkin, John Harkness, Ezra Shaw, i^ioo for schools. 

At a meeting " May i 1798 Dea. Nathaniel Sampson, Andrew 
Bannister and David Conkey were appointed a Committee to fix on 
a place where the School House shall stand in Dea. Ebenezer Grays 
School quarter. " But when the Committee brought in a report at 
an Adjourned meeting it was voted not to accept the report of the 
Committee and the Meeting was dissolved. 

1799. School Committee. — Henry McColloch, Eliab Packard Jr, 
James Rinkin, Lt. John Harkness, James Cowan, Capt. Isaac Aber- 
crombie. $350 appropriated. 

1800. School Committee. — Moses Gray s'\ Robert Crosett, 
Thomas Conkey, William Conkey, James S. Park, Lt. Henry McCol- 
lock, Samuel Peso, Capt. John Harkness, John Barber. $450. 

Having given what may be of interest concerning the schools from 
1744 to 1800, only the school committees, and appropriations will 
follow to 1897. 

The schools of the town from 1800 to 1850 were well attended, 60 
to 70 pupils being often in attendance in a single school, and the boys 
and girls were kept in school during the winter term until iS to 20 
years of age and under competent male teachers. From 1825 to 
1850 it was not uncommon to have a term of school during the 
autumn for the more advanced pupils, which was termed a " select 
school, '' and these terms of school were often held at the center 
school house or old meeting house, under various teachers, Miner 
Gold was often at the head of these extra schools. After Prescott 
was set off in 1822 there were six flourishing schools and from 1850 
there was an increase to eight schools, but with the number of pupils 
growing less until the schools were reduced to four, about 1874. 
The number of pupils of school age now (1897) is only 80. 

1 80 1. Joseph Little, William Miller, John Taylor, Levi Crawford, 
Joel Grout, James King, Ezra Shaw, John Barber, Dea. Nath' 
Sampson. $300. 

1802. Capt. Jeremiah Miller, John Miller, John Taylor, Abisha 


Reeniff, Harris Hach, Jonathan Packard, Paul Thurston, Dea. Samp- 
son, John Barber. $400. 

1803. Moses Gray 2', John Miller, James Abercrombie, Nahum 
Wedge, Joel Grout, James Washburn, Nathaniel Doge, John Barber, 
Nathaniel Sampson. $500. 

1804. Bunis Ayres, John Baker, Alexander Conkey 2'', Nahum 
Wage, Esquire Abercrombie, Isaac Tower, John Barber, Seth Edson, 
Jun, Nathaniel Sampson. $400. 

1S05. Capt. Gray, William Mellin, Elisha Conkey, Esq. Aber- 
crombie, Jacob Packard, Jun., Paul Thurston, Dea. Sampson, John 
Barber. $450. 

1806. Olney Potter, John Barber, Abiah Southworth, Jonathan 
Packard, Abial Lumbard, William Oliver, James Thompson, Jun., 
Lyscom Brigham, Nathan Felton. $450. 

1807. Paul Thurston, Thomas Hayden, Marson Eaton, John 
Barber, William Smith, Wing Kelley, Capt. Moses Gray, Obadiah 
Cooley, Maj. John Conkey. $450. 

£808. Thomas Vaughn, John Baker, Eliot Gray, Silas Williams, 
Asa Shaw, Oliver C'urtis, Lt. David Hannum, John Barber, Jonathan 
Packard. $450. 

1809. John Baker, Sylvester Titus, Alexander Conkey, Jun., 
Henry Kingman, Marson Eaton, Paul Thurston, John Rankin, Jun., 
Lemuel Hall, Eliot Gray. $450. 

18 10. Capt. Moses Gray, William Miller, Israel Conkey, Thomas 
Conkey, Levi Taft, Seth Edson, Jun., Samuel Peso, Lemuel Hall, 
John Rankin, Jun. $450. 

181 1. Isaac Powers, Peter Stockwell, Levi Crawford, Abiah 
Southworth, Henry Kingman, Samuel Peso, Lemuel Hall, John Gray, 
John Taylor. $500. 

1812. Peter Stockwell, Constant Ruggles, Esq., Capt. John Tay- 
lor, Silas Boynton, Reuben Westcott, Seth Edson, Jun., Hafifield 
Gould, Jesse ¥. Peck, Ephriam Randall. $500. 

1813. Roswell Jennings, Jonathan Miller, David Conkey, Jun., 
Nahum Wedge, Daniel Packard, Jonathan Packard, Asa Shaw, 
Haffield Gould, Pliny Hannum, Paul Thurston. $500. 

181 4. Jonathan Richardson, James Hyde, Alexander Conkey, 
Oliver Hamilton, Daniel Packard, Jonathan Packard, Samuel Peso, 
Pliny Hannum, Silas Johnson. $500. 

18 15. Peter Stockwell, Barna Brigham, John Taylor, Isaac 

SCHOOLS. . 231' 

Abercrombie, Henry Kingman, Paul Thurston, John Gray 2'^, OHver 
Smith, Oliver Hamilton. $500. 

18 16. Alexander Conkey, Luther Chapin, Obadiah Cooley, 
Reuben Westcott, Moses Gray 2'', Jonathan Packard, Elijah Randall, 
Olney Potter, Lewis Draper. $500. 

1817. Ithamar Conkey, Joseph Pierce, Jr., Wm. Harkness. $500. 

18 18. Ithamar Conkey, Chester Gray and the Minister. $600. 

1819. Rev. W. Bailey, Albigence King, Stacy Lindsay. $600. 

1820. Rev. Winthrop Bailey, Stacy Lindsay, Isaac Briggs. $500. 

1821. Rev. Winthrop Bailey, Jesse F. Peck, Stacy Lindsay, Dr., 
Albigence King, Josiah Pierce. $500. 

1822. Dr. A. King, Isaac Briggs, Rev. Winthrop Bailey, $350.- 

1823. Rev. W. Bailey, Henry Kingman, John Rankin. $300. 

1824. Rev. W. Bailey, Cyrus Kingman, Wells Southworth, Mar- 
tin Kingman, Rufus Grout. $350. 

1825. Rev. W. Bailey, Dr. A. King, Cyrus Kingman, Daniel 
Thompson, Rufus Grout. $350. 

1826. Dr. Daniel Thompson, Rufus Grout, Wells Southworth, 
Alanson Chapin, Martin Kingman. $350. 

1827. Rufus Grout, Isaac Briggs, Oliver Bryant, Miner Gold, 
Grove Hannum. $350. 

1828. Miner Gold, John Parmenter, Rufus Grout. $350. 

1829. Isaac Briggs, Dr. Daniel Thompson, Alanson Chapin. $350 

1830. Cummings Fish, Martin Kingman, John Parmenter. $350 

1 83 1. Rev. Isaac Stoddard, Dr. Daniel Thompson, C. Fish. $350 

1832. Dr. D. Thompson, Cummings Fish, Ansel A. Rankin. $350 

1833. Miner Gold, Thomas Hayden Jr., Cheney Abbott. $350 

1834. Dr. Daniel Thompson, Cheney Abbott, C. Fish. $350 

1835. Rev. Luther Pierce, Dr. D. Thompson, C. Fish. $350 

1836. Rev. Luther Pierce, Dr. D. Thompson, Miner Gold. $350, 

1837. George B. Pitman, Amnion Cook, Simon Cook. $350. 

1838. Miner Gold, Cummings Fish, Alfred Taylor. $400. 

1839. Dr. Nath'l Ingraham, C. D. Eaton, Isaac L. Brown. $400. 

1840. Calvin D. Eaton, John Carter, Wm. C. Rankin. $400. 

1841. Calvin D. Eaton, Chester Gaskell, Wm. C. Rankin. $400. 

1842. Calvin D. Eaton, Chester Gaskell, John B. Hall. $400. 

1843. Same as 1842. $400. 

1844. Chester Gaskell, John B. Hall, Monroe Eaton. $400. 

1845. John B. Hall, Monroe Eaton, Wm. Barrows. $400. 


1846. William Barrows, Cheney Abbott, I. H. Taylor. $400. 

1847. George B. Pitman, C. D. Eaton, David Abercrombie, James 
M. Cook, Lewis B. Fish. $400. 

1848. Rev. A. C. Page, Rev. I. B. Bigelow, Abel Fletcher. $400. 

1849. Rev. A. C. Page, Miner Gold, Chester Gaskell. $400. 

1850. Chester Gaskell, INIonroe Eaton. $400. 

1851. Chester Gaskell, ('. D. Eaton, Warren C. Wedge. $400. 

1852. C. D. Eaton, Monroe Eaton, A. A. Rankin. $400. 

1853. A. G. Craig, Philo D. Winter, Monroe Eaton. $500. 

1854. A. A. Rankin, P. D. Winter, W. C. Wedge, C. D. Eaton, 
Miner Gold, Rufus Grout, Horace Gray. $400. 

1855. Milo W. Field, Charles P. Aldrich, James M. Cook. $500. 

1856. John Jones, P. D. Winter, A. A. Rankin. $500. 

1857. John Jones, C. D. E^aton, A. A. Rankin. $700. 

1858. John Jones, three years; A. A. Rankin, two years; C. D. 
Eaton, one year. $500. 

1859. Rufus Grout for three years. $550. 
i860. Miner Gold for three years. $550. 

1861. Ansel A. Rankin. $500. 

1862. William H. Dowden. $550. 

1863. John Jones. $500. 

1864. Ansel A. Rankin. $700. 

1865. Sylvester Jewett. $600. 

1866. John F. Dyer, S. Jewett, Robert Miller. $800. 

1867. Ansel A. Rankin. $1000. 

1868. Sylvester Jewett. $1050. 

1869. C. H. Hobby. 5 1000. 

1870. Mrs. Moses L. \^'ard, Mrs. H. B. P]rewer for three years; 
C. D. Eaton, John Jones for two years ; James Hanks, David Shores 
for one year. $1000. 

187 I. Miner Gold, Mrs. H. Brewer. $1000. 

1872. S. Jewett, James Hanks. J. T. Hughes for three years ; 
Jason Washburn, J. L. Brainard for two years. Si 000. 

1873. $1000. 

1874. $1000. 

1875. Jason Washburn for three years, W. K. Vaille for two 
years, Austin Rankin for one year. $900. 

1876. John Jones. $700. 

1877. Dr. Herman Heed for three years, Asahel Gates for one 
year. $700. 


1878. Asahel Gates for three years. $700. 

1879. John Jones for three years. $650. 

1880. John F. Dyer for three years. $650. 

1881. Timothy Sabin for three years. $600. 

1882. Alfred Tuttle for three years. $600. 

1883. S. Jewett, J. Jones for three years, J. L. Brainard for two 
years, Moses L. Ward, Wm. P. Montgomery for one year. $600. 

1884. James Hanks, Asahel Gates for three years. $600. 

1885. Charles B. Shores. Charles L. Ward for three years. $700- 

1886. S. Jewett, Alfred Tuttle for three years. $700. 

1887. M. E. Boynton, Dwight Presho for three years. $700. 

1888. J. R. Anderson, H. R. Davidson for three years. $700. 

1889. J. W. Knight, C. E. Humphrey for three years. $500. 

1890. Myrett E. Boynton, Dwight Presho for three years. $500- 
and dog fund. 

1 89 1. John L. Brewer, Louise M. Brewer for three years. 

1892. Mrs. J. L. Haskins, E. M. Harris for three years. $600. 

1893. C. E. Humphrey, J. W. Knight for three years. $700. 

1894. J. R. Anderson, H. S. Allen for three years. $400 and 
dog fund. 

1895. Miss Louise M. Brewer, John L. Brewer, for three years. 
$400 and dog fund. 

1896. C. E. Humphrey, Charles L. Ward, for three years. $600- 
and dog fund. 

1897. J. R. Anderson, Henry S. Allen. $500 and dog fund. 


Lands for Mi//s, IJJQ. — Corn Mill, IJSS- — Stinsons Sauniiill, lj6o. — 
Hamilton's Saivmill, 1783. — Barlozv's Sawmill, ijSj. — Town 
Takes Action, iJQT. — Mills Built on Ho?ne Lot 36, 1803-4. — 
Alany Owners of Mills in the Hollow. — Stephen Fairbank's 
Carding Machine, 18 13. — Shoe Peg Btisiness on Pergy Brook. — 
Land for Mill at West Pelham, 17 JQ. — Scythe Shop and Foun- 
dry. — Cardifig Machine, i8o8.—fillson's Mills, 1820. — Various 
Owners of Mills. — Fishing Rod Busifiess, i8j8. — Montague 
City Pod Co. — Brotvn's Turning Shop. — Charcoal. — Stone 
Quarries. — Miscellaneous Manufacturing. — Lnnkeepers and 
Retailers. — Merchafits. — fustices of the Peace. — Physicians. — 

The proprietors of the new town early made provisions for build- 
"ing mills for grinding their grain and for sawing lumber, but just the 
earliest date that a mill was put in operation no record has yet been 
found. In the description of Home Lot No. 56, provision was made 
for building a mill. 

"No. 56 — Is a Home Lott Laid out to James Taylor Iny"" s'' Lis- 
burn Propriety & it Lays Iny" Second and third Range & Lays 
Quantity for Quality Containing One Hundred & fifty acres. It 
Bounds N: on Third Division No 24 W: on third Division No 46 
partly and partly on home lott No 55 & partly on Second Division 
No. 19 S : on third division No 28 partly and partly on third 
Division No 46 & East ony'' River ye N. E. Corner is a Maple tree 
from thence it Runs \V 5 Degrees South 180 perch to a stake and 
stones from thence it Runs W 5 Degrees South 180 Perch to a Stake 
and Stones from thence South 136 perch to a stake and Stones from 
thence E to y'- River and from thence to y" Corner first Mentioned, 
— a highway of two perch Wide to be allowed out ony*" N : Side of y'' 
Range Line Running through Said Lott and Said Lott is allowed six 
,perch wide ony"-' West side of Ye River & twenty perch In Length — 


Said Line beginning att y*" South Line of y" above Named Lott & to 
proceed from thence Down y'' River Likewise on ye East side of ye 
River adjoining y" former there is 20 percli Wide of Land Said 
twenty perch wide of Land is to Run In Length Beginning att y^ 
Water of y^ Pond and Run down y^ River as far as forementioned on 
y^ West side On ye River Doth, and no further, Said Land being 
allowed for ye Privilige of Building a Mill on y" River & Allowed all 
y'^ Land Upwards to Home Lott No 20 for Pond Room. Surveyed 
In April 1739." 

The first allusion to a corn mill that is found upon the records, is 
in the record of the annual town meeting, March 3, 1755, when 
besides the election of officers several roads were consented to, and 
among them is the following entry : 

" These May Certifie that I am Willing to Let ye Road go Where 
it now Dos Between Matthew Gray* & ye Corn Mill, Having ye 
Range Rode Equivolent. John McFarland." 

John McFarland was not one who drew land, but he may have 
been a son of Andrew McFarland who drew Home lot, No. 39 ; also 
lot No. 39 second division, and a No. 60 third division. Home lot, 
No. 39, was half a mile west of the meeting house, no corn mill 
could be built there. Lot No. 39 second division was on both sides 
of the West branch in range 4, and the corn mill was probably on the 
river at that point. 

The next mention of a grist mill in the town is found in a vote 
changing the location of a road in 1762, but it was not upon the lot 
No, 56, but might have been on the West branch at some point above 
or below lot 56. The vote referred to is as follows : 

" Voted that the Road be Altered from Matthew Grays Toward ye 
Corn Mill about Four Rode or as far as the Surveyor will think 

Up to this time nothing had been done by the owner of lot 56 
towards erecting a mill, as the proposition of Mr. Phelps to the town 
that same year indicates. 

John Savige was scheduled as the owner of a sawmill on the valu- 
ation list as early as 1760, and on the same list John Lucore is 
listed as the owner of one half of a grist mill, also John Crawford for 
half of a grist mill ; perhaps they together owned one and the same 

236 history of pelham, mass. 

Town Meeting, Sept. 14, 1762. 

In the warrant for this meeting there was an article as follows : 

" Article 4 To see if the town will grant Mr. Phelps the Stream and place 
to build a Grist Mill & Dam in and Upon the Branch of Swift River by the 
Bridge across it in the Highway leading from the Meeting House in s'' Pel- 
ham to William Conkeys Dwelling house in s'^ Pelham if he Clear the Town 
of Damage." 

On this article it was " Voted that There is nothing acted on the 
forth article." 

When the survey of the Lisburn property was made the fine 
stream running through the Hollow could but suggest to the minds 
of the sturdy settlers the opportunity to locate a grist mill for the 
convenience of the people, and with home lot No. 56, was coupled the 
obligation requiring the one who drew that lot to build a mill ; fail- 
ing to do it, the land set apart for mill and pond was reserved for some 
one that would. 

James Taylor was the fortunate man to draw lot No. 56, but up to 
1762 he had failed to build a mill. Possibly it was the hope that 
Mr. Taylor would do so soon that led the people to disregard the 
proposition of Mr. Phelps. 

At a meeting Oct. 20, 1791, the following article appeared in the 
warrant : 

"To see if the Town will grant their right of Privilege thair is in the West 
Branch for the purpose of Erecting a Mill or Mills for the purpose of Grind- 
ing Grain to any Person or Persons who will appear to Engage to Erect s^ 
mills to the Exceptance of s-^ Inhabitance of Pelham." 

Action on the Above Article. 

" Voted to take advice of some Lyor Respecting the Privilige of a 
Mill Place that is laid out on the West Branch that Runs through s'' 

Voted to Choose a Committee to inspect s'' matter, — Said Com- 
mittee is Hugh Johnston, Lt John Rinken, Lt Nathaniel Sampson. 

Voted to adjourn s'' Meeting to Thursday the third day of Novem- 
ber next at one oclock in the afternoon. 

Then Met and first voted to Raise a Committee to Enquire of Mr 
James Taylor the Reasons why he has not Built a Grist Mill on ye 
spot ye Proprietors laid out to his Lot for the Privilige of a Mill and 
if not Sufficient Reasons given, to Demand of him to Build a Mill. — 




Chose Mr Hugh Johnston, Mathew Clark and Andrew Abercrombie 
a Committee for the purpose above." 

No record has been found of the result of this action of the town. 
Whether James Taylor built the long delayed grist mill or whether 
some other man did, no one living can probably determine, and 
unless some record turns up to decide it the question must remain 
unsettled. It would seem probable that the earnestness with 
which the town took hold of the matter, as indicated by the record, 
that James Taylor or some other man was to be forced to improve 
the fine water privilege for the accommodation of the people without 
further delay. The people were doomed to still further waiting for 
the much needed mill, as the following records plainly prove. In a 
warrant for a town meeting, March 17, 1800, is the following article: 

" To see if the Town will Improve the Privilige of Building Mills on the 
West Branch having Respect for the former vote of the Town." 

Action upon the above article is recorded as follows : 

" Voted to Chuse a Committee to see if the Mill Place that is laid 
out on the West Branch whether it Belongs to the Town or any other 
Person or Persons. Said Committee is Joseph Akers, Capt Isaac 
Abercrombie and David Conkey.'' 

The meeting was adjourned for one hour, and on reassembling the 
following vote was passed : 

" Voted that the Committee that was Chosen to inspect the Mill 
Place on the West Branch they are to Examine the Town Book and 
if they find that it is Voted to Doctor Hinds they are to Desist till 
they have further orders from the Town." 

Dr. Nehemiah Plinds was a prominent man in town, and a man of 
property who was at one time the largest tax payer in the town, and 
it is evident that the people were not anxious to crowd the Doctor 
provided the records showed him to be the lawful owner of the unde- 
veloped mill privilege on the West branch ; — hence the vote ordering 
the committee to desist if they should find Dr. Hinds in legal 

In an old account book that belonged to William Conkey (Uncle 

Billy) there are entries showing the payment of money for millwright 

work in the years 1803 and 1804. Mr. Milo Abbott of Prescott is 

of the opinion that Uncle Billy Conkey was one of three men that 



built the first mill on the West branch at the place near the bridge 
where there have been mills for many years. 

■Felton & Conkey were taxed as a firm in 1809, but whether they 
were in company in the mill business the tax entry does not state. 
Ansel and Robert Conkey, sons of Uncle Billy, are believed to have 
been owners of the mills for ten years or so, perhaps longer, and 
then came Nathan Felton, who was proprietor for some time and 
sold to Mala Cowles of Belchertown, and his son Edwin Cowles 
operated them, — the sawmill on the east side and a grist mill on the 
west side of the stream. Cowles owned the mills from about 1S40 
until '48 or '49, and rented them to Leland. Gillett &: Gilbert for 
the manufacture of axe handles. 

William Holt of Dana purchased the mills of Cowles in 1852 or 
'53, and was the owner until he sold them to J. M. Cowan, who pur- 
chased them in 1854. Mr. Cowan and Marcus Grout were in part- 
nership for awhile, as was L. M. Hills in the manufacture of bobbins. 
In 1867 Cowan sold out the mills and the business to Hills and 
Westcott of Amherst, who carried on the bobbin business until the 
shop burned in 1874. Hills and Westcott then divided the property, 
W. S. Westcott taking the property on the east side of the stream and 
H. F. Hills the property on the west side. 

Westcott sold the mill on the Prescott side to Theodore F. Cook 
in 1873 and Cook built a new saw mill. 

Hills sold his mill property on the west side of the stream to John 
Vanstone in 188 1. T. F. Cook sold the sawmill to E. Downing of 
Enfield in 1889, and John Vanstone purchased it of Downing in 
189 1. Vanstone owns the property on both sides of the stream at 
present but the mills on the west side have gone to ruin. 

Hamilton's sawmill is mentioned as standing in. 1785, — location 
not definite. Also John Hoar's sawmill about that date. In 1790 
there is mention of a sawmill, whose owner is not named, in a recorded 
vote as follows : " Voted that the road Laid from the Sawmill to 
William Conkeys be Shut up by two Gats one at Each end of s'^ 
Road with two Hors Blocks at each Gate.'' The mills referred to 
above were situated in the easterly part of the town, probably in the 

In the record of a road established for Dea. Ebenezer Gray and 
others in 1787 occurs the following mention of a mill : 

"Beginning southerly of Dea Ebenezer Gray" house at the third 


range road and running as described by various turns to a laid out 
road from Shutesbury to Barlow's sawmill." 

In 1805 there was an article in a town meeting warrant : 
" To see if the town will grant that the Surveyors shall allow work Don 
at the Bridge by Barlow's sawmill in the present Highway tax." 

Wood's sawmill is also mentioned in the same vote as near a 
bridge. Turner's sawmill is referred to as being on the county road, 
leading from Pelham to Leverett, in iSoi. 

April 3, 1815, it was " Voted to discontinue a part of the ror.d 
running from William Conkeys to John Hoars Sawmill." I'his 
record does not locate John Hoar's mill but it was undoubtedly upon 
the West Branch near the farm of Thomas Conkey, about a mile 
north of the sawmill of John Vanstone, at the bridge across the West 
Branch. Calvin Chapin of Prescott says that John Hoar owned the 
privilege at that point on the stream and after he (Chapin) came to 
town in 1824, that John Baker built a mill on Hoar's privilege and 
was to have the use of the mill for twenty years, and then it was to 
become the property of Mr. Hoar. It is quite probable that John 
Hoar had a mill on that privilege previous to 1815, when the vote to 
discontinue the portion of road leading from William Conkey's tavern 
to John Hoar's sawmill was passed. 

Early in the century, perhaps as early a 18 15, one Stephen Fair- 
banks built or owned a mill on what is known as the Pergy brook, 
and not far from where the sawmill of David Shores now stands. 
Fairbanks had a carding machine in his shop or mill and received 
the wool from the farmers to be carded into rolls for greater con- 
venience in spinning. He ran his carding machine for some years 
and then sold it to Cheney Abbott. Abbott continued the business 
for a number of years or until it run out, because the practice of 
spinning wool on the large wheel began to die out, and then Abbott 
sold his mill to Austin Conkey and Miner Gold, who added a story 
to the shop and started the manufacture of shoe pegs. The shoe 
peg business not having proved a success Mr. Gold turned his atten- 
tion to the manufacture of shingles in place of pegs, and continued 
the business, after leaving the shop on Pergy brook, in the south 
part of the town, using steam power. Stephen Fairbanks and a man 
by the name of Briggs were also associated together in building or 
running a sawmill a little farther down the Pergy brook in a deep 
ravine and south of David Shores's sawmill, where there is much fall 


to the brook over the ledges of rocks ; this was probably sixty or 
more years ago. Mr. Fairbanks finally became discontented with his 
surroundings and conditions, and built himself a covered wagon in 
which he and his family journeyed to the West, camping where night 
■overtook them, sleeping in the covered wagon. 

Farther up Pergy brook the foundations of a mill were to be seen 
sixty or seventy years ago and it is said that there was a gristmill 
there once, but who the owner was we have been unable to learn, as 
no one seems to remember seeing a mill there, but it is said that 
some of the foundation timbers are still to be seen in the bed of the 

Other Land Set Apart for a Mill. 

"No 32 Is a Home Lott Laid out to William Johnson Jun Iny^ 
Lisburn Propriety & it Lays in the Second Range & Lays Quantity 
for Quality Containing one Hundred acres it bounds S : on third 
Division No. 57 partly & partly on third Division No. 58 partly & 
partly on Undivided Land F. on third Division 59 & W : on third 
Division 58 the S. \V. corner to a stake & stones — from thence it 
Runs N. 120 I^erch to a stake and Stones from thence it runs F. 200 
Perch to a Whiteoak Staddle and Stones, from thence it runs S : 102 
perch to a White Oak Tree, from thence W. 88 Perch to a Stake & 
Stones from thence it runs S. 91 Perch to a White Oak Tree & from 
thence to y'' corner first mentioned, — A highway of 2 Perch Wide to 
be allowed out of the N. side of ye range line Running through said 
Lott& is allowed five acres more adjoining y F. Fnd of said Lott 
for a Mill place viz for land to build a Mill on for a mill yard & for 
Pond room Said Mill place Begins at a \\'hite Oak Tree being the 
N. E. of Said Lott Runns from thence F 15 Deg N 31 Perch to a 
White Pine tree from thence In such form as ye Water Raised by a 
Dam shall flow the N : Bounds of said Mill place to Run 4 Perch 
north from the Brook and as far E. As shall include s'" five Acres. " 
Another lot of 50 acres under No. 32 and situated in Fast Hollow 
went with the above described No. 32. 

The five acres of land allowed to William Johnson, who drew 
Home lot No. 32 in the west part of the town for " to build a mill, 
Mill yard and for pond room "' was upon the stream now known as 
Amethyst brook and from which water is now taken by the Amherst 
Water Company to supply Amherst with pure water. 


This five acres of land, set apart for a mill is 250 rods east from 
the west line of the town and must have been the jDoint in the ravine 
a little way up the stream from the mineral springs on the Orient 
grounds, so called, now owned by Mr. Fred Pitman of Washington, 
D. C. At this point early in this century there was a mill or shop 
owned by Isaac Otis for the manufacture of scythes and there was a 
small foundry connected, where small cast iron articles for household 
use were turned out. The approach to this mill site was by a road 
from the County highway, starting opposite the West Pelham bury- 
ing ground near the residence of Edwin Shaw, traces of which are 
still to be seen, and another approach was from the Valley road some 
distance east of the Valley bridge over the Amethyst brook. This 
shop or mill was washed away in the great freshet of 1828, and the 
grindstone used there was found 25 years afterwards far down the 
stream by Edmund Myrick and Horace Gray. 

Just the date of the development of the power of Amethyst brook 
at the site of the Fishing Rod factory and at the mill of Lewis W. 
Allen, a few rods below, is not certainly determined by any data 
that is accessible. On the site now occupied by L. W. Allen's saw 
mill and shop there has been a saw mill since 1805 and perhaps 
before that time. 

September 30, 1S05, Nathan Jillson purchased of Dea. Nathaniel 
Sampson the farm known for many recent years as the Rev. John 
Jones farm. His two sons Riley and Amasa were mechanics, as 
was also the father. The Jillson s owned the two mills, a sawmill 
where L. W. Allen now owns, and a small gristmill at the privilege 
now occupied by the Montague City Rod company. The first grist- 
mill was near the north end of the dam of the Fishing Rod company, 
and the water was brought in a canal from a small clam farther up the 

Riley Jillson built a gristmill on the site of the Fishing Rod 
factory in 1S20, and the two brothers carried on the gristmill and 
the sawmill farther down in company. Horace Gray came into pos- 
session of Amasa Jillson's half of the property 60 years or more ago, 
owning one-half of each mill, exchanged his half of the gristmill for 
Riley Jillson's half of the sawmill. About the year 1858, Mr. Gray, with 
his son C. D. Grav, started manufacturing of fishing rods in a small 
way. The sawmill and shop at the lower privilege were burned in 
1S51, and Gray rebuilt. About i860 he sold his sawmill to Andrew 


Mitchell and purchased the upper privilege. Mitchell died and Darius 
Eaton was the next owner. Eaton sold to L. W. Allen the present 
owner. Riley Jillson, the original owner of the gristmill, sold to Robert 
Cutler in 1845 ; Cutler added a sawmill, ran them both several years 
and sold to Buffum & Ward ; this firm sold to Mr. Anthony and he 
sold to William Johnson, and the latter to a man in Palmer. Gray 
& Son then purchased this mill. I'hev increased the fishing rod 
business greatly ; C. I). Gray died in 1873 and the business was sold 
to Ward & Latham. Latham dropped out of the firm, and Joseph G. 
Ward was sole owner for some time. Leander L. and Eugene P, 
Eartlett were the next owners of the business. Leander L. sold to 
Eugene P., and in 1889 the Montague City Rod Company became 
the proprietors of the flourishing business, and from their three fact- 
ories at Montague City and Pelham, Mass., and Post Mills, Vt., turn 
out three-fourths of all the goods that go into the market. The Pel- 
ham branch of the Montague City Rod Company is in charge of 
Eugene P. Bartlett as manager, and in good times perhaps forty 
hands d,ve employed in manufacturing split bamboo fishing rods that 
go to all parts of this country and to Europe. Besides the split 
bamboo rods, which are made from bamboo poles imported from 
Calcutta and Japan, fine lancewood fishing rods are made. Three 
hundred different patterns and styles are included in their catalogue, 
from the fancy fly rod of a few ounces in weight to the heavy and 
strong rods for salt water fishermen. 

About the year 1808, John I^armenter set up a carding machine in 
a building back of the sawmill, now owned by L. W. Allen, where 
the farmers from this and neighboring town brought their wool to be 
carded into rolls for spinning on the large spinning wheels by the 
great open fire-places in the farmers' kitchens by the skillful fingers 
of the wives and daughters, and after spinning into yarn ' it was 
woven into cloth, bed-blankets and the like. Connected with the 
business was a fulling and dyeing department where yarn was colored 
and cloth dyed and fulled for use. 

Some insight into the business and the manner of conducting it is 
gathered from an old ledger in use at that time indicates that the 
carding and dyeing was paid for mostly in farm produce or labor. 





mills, manufacturies, etc. 243 

The Old Carding Machine. 


Dr. Robert ("utler w as credited with 95 cents worth of salt pork 
and $1.42 in cash July 29, 1808 ; showing that the Doctor had both 
pork and cash to spare. Captain Calvin Merrill was allowed $1.00 
for I Gallon Cider Brandy, and $2.00 cash for "2 Knapt Hats," in 
July, 1809. Simeon Pomroy has the following credit : Sept. 24, 1810, 
" By 5 days labor on the dam $3.33 ;" Not very heavy wages for 
laborious work, repairing a mill dam. Andrew Hyde was credited 
$2.01 for three days work on dam, showing that 67 cents was con- 
sidered fair pay for a day's work. The account with Rev. David 
Parsons was opened in August, 1808 and was closed in 1814 by a 
cash payment of $2.44. David Pomroy has the following credit, 
Nov. 23, 1812, "By fifty lb. of Beef at four Dollars per Hundred, — 
^2.00." Gen. Ebenezer Mattoon brought the wool from his fiock of 
sheep to the carding machine firm from 1808 to 18 17, paying nothing 
but cash. 

The following credits and prices carried out, taken here and there 
without regarding names give an idea of workingman's wages and 
value of farm products : 

By 16 Pounds Sugar at 12 1-2 cts. 2.00 

" One Sheep, 3S pounds, 2.00 

" I Days Work .54 

" I Bushel of Turnips .25 

" 7 pounds Veal at 4 cts. .28 

" Horse to Hatfield, g miles, .36 

" 6 1-2 Bushels potatoes at 23 1.98 

" 14 1-2 Skim cheese at 7 .87 

" 7 lbs Salt Pork at 10 .70 

" 3 yds Cotton Cloth at 25 .75 

" 4 lbs Butter at 12 1-2 .50 

Seventy-five years and more ago there was a sawmill in the ravine 
where the lower reservoir of the Amherst Water Company is located, 
owned by Savannah Arnold. The site of the stone dam of the Com- 
pany is nearly identical with the dam that supplied the water for 
Arnold's sawmill located a few rods farther down the stream, the 
remains of the canal or raceway being still visible. The first mill 
was burned and John and Collins Brailey built another on nearly 
the same site. 

Access to Arnold's and Brailey's mill was by a cart-road to the 
county highway near the residence of James Haskins, and another 

1810 By 13 1-2 pounds veal 




" 2 1-2 Bushels oats at 34 




" 3 Cords 40 ft. of wood at 51.17 




" Setting two horses shoes 

• 17 



" Killing calf 




" 12 pounds butter at 12 1-2 cts lb 




" Horse to \A'hately (10 miles) 




" I hoe 




'• 4 Brooms (Corn) 




'■ 2 Bushels corn 




" 2 yards cotton cloth 2-9 




" 2 1-4 lbs Butter 



cart-road that crossed the brook by a bridge and came out on the 
valley side of the brook. 

At the head of the pond that held water for the Brailey sawmill 
Amethyst brook divides, or rather the two brooks that unite to form 
Amethyst brook, come together. One comes from the northeast and 
the other brings water from the watershed southeasterly from the 
point of union ; on the brook that comes from the northeast, high up 
on the hillside there was an old sawmill on the farm purchased by 
Eseck Cook in 1807, and in later years it was rebuilt in modern style, 
but the scarcity of timber and the introduction of the portable mill 
rendered the investment worthless, and the mill was allowed to go to 
decay, — time and the elements have nearly completed their work and 
it will not be long before not a vestige will be left. Owners follow- 
ing Eseck Cook were his sons, Nathaniel and Lewis Cook ; then it 
came into the hands of Smith M. Cook and Asa Ober, but no busi- 
ness has been done there for years. It is probable that this 
was the site of Turner's sawmill described as " on the road from Pel- 
ham to Leverett." 

On the branch of Amethyst brook that comes from the southeast 
there was at one time a turning shop, situated a short distance above 
where the two branches join to make Amethyst brook. It was 
owned by Ezra Brown, who lived on the north side of the turnpike 
near the Amherst Water Company's new reservoir, on the farm now 
occupied by John Hawley. At the turning shop Mr. Brown used to 
split out his timber and turn faucets. These he would take to Rhode 
Island and sell or exchange for cotton yarn. 

Bringing home the yarn he would then sell it to the farmers, and 
the farmers' wives wove it into cloth for their families on hand 
looms. Mr. Brown built a new shop nearer his home, on the road 
accepted by the town in 1828 and leading across the ravine to 
George Buffum's and is described as "leaving the turnpike near 
Ezra Brown's new shop." In this shop Mr. l^rown probably made 
the coffins, which he sold to the people when needed. These coffins 
he stained a bright red color which was the custom or fashion at 
that time. 

Near the location of Ezra Brown's new shop W. J. Harris built a 
mill or shop for mechanical purposes in 1875, where he carried on a 
small business for several years and then sold out to the Amherst 
Water Company, as the site for their upper reservoir, in 1892. 


Sixty years or more ago Thomas ButTum and Levi Hall built a 
stone dam and sawmill on a small rivulet that finds its way down 
from the high lands northeast of the valley and crosses the highway 
near the old Buffum homestead, now owned and occupied by John 
A. Page. The mill was quite a distance north of the Buffum place, 
and was run but a few years. The remains of the old dam are visi- 
ble by the roadside now. 

About iSoo Oliver Smith built a dam on the head waters of the 
small brook that comes down from the base of Mt. Lincoln and flow- 
ing south finds its way into Hop brook in the neighborhood of 
Dwight, or Pansy Park, and erected a small turning shop on the 
county road leading from the Methodist church at West Pelham to 
Enfield. A small business was done at this shop for years after 
Oliver Smith passed away and the farm on which it stood came into 
the possession of Arba Randall. John Lyman, who lived near the 
shop used it for building wagon wheels, turning the hubs in the 

Later the building was taken down and removed. The old dam 
remains on the north side of the highway, and the shop stood on the 
same side of the roadway. Persons passing along the roadway now 
can scarcely hear any sound of running water, so little of it coming 
down now from the hillside above, that one wonders how enough 
could be obtained to drive even a turning lathe. 

Manufacture of Charcoal. 

The burning of wood into charcoal or "coaling " as the business 
was termed has been carried on in a small way by individuals here 
and there about the town for many years. The usual practice was to 
pile up ten, fifteen or more cords of four foot wood into a cone shaped 
mass, cover it with earth and turf except an opening at the apex. 
Fire was then applied at the base and the work of the fire care- 
fully watched night and day for a week or ten days until the fire had 
charred the wood completely. Then the charcoal burner loaded up 
a wagon, fitted with high side and end boards, with perhaps an 
hundred bushels of coal and with horse or ox team drew his load to 
Amherst or Northampton and peddled the coal from house to house. 

In 1862 David Shores began the manufacture of charcoal at the 
" Hollow " on a larger scale, than the ancient method described 
above. He built large ovens or kilns of brick large enough to hold 


many cords of wood. When an oven is filled iron doors shut the 
wood in, only sufficient openings are left for draft, when the kiln is 
fired. These ovens require constant watching day and night just the 
same as the earth covered coal pit. Mr. Shores has three of these 
ovens and manufactures from 50,000 to 150,000 bushels annually 
according to the demand. 

The charcoal is marketed at Springfield and Chicopee mostly. It 
is drawn to Enfield by horses and loaded upon cars, — and on its 
arrival at Springfield the coal is distributed to the various large man- 
ufacturers, such as Smith & \^'esson, the U. S. Armory and the large 

Mr. Shores has purchased woodland from time to time to supply 
wood for his ovens, until he is the owner of 1000 to 1200 acres. 
Land that he cut the wood from when he first began business has 
grown another covering of wood large enough for railroad ties or for 
wood to turn into charcoal. 

In 1870 Mr. Shores built a sawmill on Pergy brook to saw the 
large trees into lumber. This sawmill is the last one erected in town 
and is a circular sawmill with the latest improvements, and is located 
not far from his residence and charcoal ovens. 

Stone Quarries. 

The business of quarrying stone for building purposes has been 
carried on for more than 75 years ; just the time when the work began 
is not fixed. A Mr. Kimball from Amherst was one of the first in 
this line of business. Thomas Buffum began quarrying on a ledge 
on the east side of the highway leading from Buffum's to Abijah 
Fales', when he was 17 years old in 1S27. Stones from this quarry 
were easily cut and hanuuered. 

Abijah h'ales opened a quarry near his house. John and William 
Harkness owned a quarry half a mile or more east of the Methodist 
church, now owned by George P. Shaw. 

The largest quarry and the one from which the most stone has 
been taken is on the farm best known as the Joseph G. Ward farm. 
Ward followed Levi Hall as proprietor of the farm, and " Cooper " 
John Gray was the owner before Hall. 

The first work upon this quarry of any magnitude was in 1820 
when the college buildings at Amherst were begun. John Gray 




owned the ledge or quarry at that time and he got out cut stones for 
steps and other uses about the buildings. 

From the quarry on this farm a great many stone have been drawn 
by team to Springfield, Northampton, Easthampton, Ware and 
Amherst for use as window sills and caps, — hammered stones for 
steps and other purposes, and building stone for use in factories and 
public buildings. Flavel Gaylord of Amherst now owns the farm 
and quarry. 

There have been great quantities of rough stone gathered in the 
pastures and drawn to Amherst for cellar walls, and the demand con- 
tinues. The farmers thereby clear their fields of stone and get pay 
for their labor. They also get out railroad ties for which they find 
ready sale to the railroads. Quantities of cord wood are cut and 
drawn to Amherst market. Wood prepared for the stove is also 
drawn to Amherst. W. Orcutt Clough has been in the business 19 
years, and has drawn 8000 one horse loads, all with the same horse. 
John L. Brewer and others are in the business. 

Mlscellaneous Manufacturing. 

Horace Gray in connection with his business of sawing logs into 
lumber used to do quite a business in turning bedsteads and making 
hand screws of wood, previous to the burning of his mill in 185 i. 

About 1S40, Daniel Purrington built a machine for sawing shoe 
lasts on the principal of the Bkanchard Lathe and ran it in an annex 
to the gristmill of his father-in-law, Riley Jillson, for some years. 

'•Tanner'' John Gray had a tannery on his farm in the valley, 
many years ago and the location of the vats can be seen still on the 
farm of Levi Moulton. 

Obadiah Cooley was a distiller, and his distillery was situated near 
the highway half a mile east of the center of the town on the way to 
the hollow. 

At the beginning of this century Solo'mon Fletcher had a tan yard, 
curry shop, bark house and beaming house, standing on land of 
Robert Crossett in the east part of the town. He sold to Benjamin 
Dix in 1S02. 

John Parmenter made ploughs for use in Pelham and the neigh- 
boring towns in a small shop at the west end of the town, and about 
the year 1840 contracted to build some that were shipped to Illinois. 

John Harkness and his sons used to purchase French burr stone 


in the blocks as shipped to this country and made sets of mill 
.stones for grinding grain, selling them on orders about the country 
and placing them in the mills ready for use. 'I'hey quit the business 
previous to 1850. 

Barney T. Wetherell and Job S. Miller did quite a business at one 
time cutting out staves for hogsheads. Their place of business was 
at Pelham center. 

Inn Keepers and Retailers. 

Intoxicating liquors were in common use as a beverage among the 
people generally all through the county and state at the time this 
town was settled. Sylvester Judd the historian of Hadley says, "the 
drinks of the early days were wines of several kinds, sack, beer, ale 
and strong water or aquavitae, — consisting of brandy distilled from 
wine and a liquor distilled from malt ;"' — but wine and beer were the 
principal drinks until rum was brought from the West Indies. It 
was sometimes called " Kill Devil or Barbadoes liquor." The set- 
tlers of Hadley planted apple trees early after the settlement of the 
town in 1659 ^^^'^ cider was made as early as 1677. They pounded 
the apples in troughs as was the custom in England. There is no 
record of cider mills in New England previous to 1700. Cider 
became in great demand for distillation into cider brandy, and apple 
orchards became numerous in Hampshue county at the time of the 
Revolution and the people of Pelham were in the front rank in the 
apple orchard industry. 

The returns of the assessors of the towns of Hadley, South 
Hadley, Amherst and Granby for the year 1771 are said to show 
that there was an average of four and one-half barrels of cider for 
each family produced that year, and Pelham is said to have made 
more cider that year than either of the four towns named. Cider 
mills were common and there was probably distilleries for turning 
cider into brandy in the town. One such institution of that sort is 
.said to have been located in West Pelham near the house of E. P. 
Bartlett. The lot on which it stood was known for years as the " Still 
Pasture," and a depression in the ground in that pasture has been 
pointed out as the cellar or basement of the distillery. \Mio owned 
the distillery cannot now be determined. Obadiah Cooley had a 
■distillery half a mile east of the center of the town. 

The use of liquors as a beverage by all. and the need of some 


2 49' 

place in town to entertain travelers on horseback journeying through 
the place caused the application to the country courts for license as 
taverners and common victualers, and the first licensed inn-holder in 
Pelham was Thomas Dick, and his license was granted in 
1749, and reads substantially as follows on the court record : 

" License is Granted to Thomas Dick of Pelham to be an inn- 
holder and Taverner and Common Victualler in s'' town for the year 
ensuing for Selling Strong Liquors by Retail." 

Thomas Dick continued to be licensed as innholder every year 
following 1749 until 176S, according to the records at Northampton ; 
but an auction bill, dated Feb. 20, 1770, advertized a sale at the 
house of Thomas Dick, innholder. 

In 1763 Thomas Dick was licensed to sell "Tea, Coffee and China 
ware out of his house In Pelham. The said Thomas to render the 
accounts and pay the duties required by the law of this Province." 

The above license seems to indicate that Dick added to the busi- 
ness of merchant to that of innholder and furnished the common 
necessities of life for his fellow townsmen. 

The location of Landlord Dicks' tavern cannot be determined with 
certainty. It is claimed that it was a mile west of the center of the 
town at the fork of the roads, and that the house now owned by 
William ( ). Kimball was the site and perhaps a part of the old 
tavern. But a reference to the plan of the town shows that Thomas 
Dick's land was all on the east side of the West Branch, as drawn by 
lot. Thomas Dick purchased a tract of land of Martha Gilmore in 
1758 — a part of lot No. 6, second division, in range 4, — this was 
near where some say his tavern was located. Thomas Dick died in 
1774. In 1795 a Thomas Dick, probably a son of the original 
Thomas, transferred lands to Margaret Dick, which he described as 
" tlie farm on which I now live — bounded westerly on lands of" 
Thomas Hincks and Benoni Shirtlieff — Northerly on range line — 
Easterly on the Cross Road — and Southerly on county road and by 
the Meeting house lot and burying ground." This is a complete 
description of home lot No. 50, originally drawn by John Fergerson. 
Possibly Thomas Dick, the original settler, purchased Fergerson's 
land and kept a tavern there, — and the son Thomas was an inn- 
holder on the same farm in 1784. 

1772, William Conkey, senior, was licensed as innholder. The 
license being more particular in its terms than that first issue to 
Thomas Dick, and reads as follows : 


" William Conkey of Pelham is licensed to be an Innholder 
Retailer and Common Victualer in his dwelling house there for one 
year next ensuing and the same William now here in court recognizes 
to ye Lord the King as principal in the sum of ten pounds and 
Messrs. Curtis Loomis of Southampton and Eli Parker of Amherst 
also came here and as sureties for the said William annexed to ye 
Reconysaizance prescribed for Innholders by act or law of this 
Province in such cases made and provided entitled an act for the 
Inspecting and suppressing of Disorders in licensed Houses etc." 

1773, William Conkey was a licensed innholder. 

During the years from 1774 to 1778, there was an intermission or 
suspension of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in the county of 
Hampshire and consequently no records of licenses granted for those 
years, if they were granted : possibly those already licensed was suf- 
ficient to continue as innholders during those years. Licensed inn- 
holders for the year 1778 were John Cole, Christopher Patten and 
Nehemiah Hinds ; and Robert Ormston. John Cole and James Lind- 
sley received retailers license. 1779, David Sloan. William Conkey, 
John Cole and Nehemiah Hinds were innholders and Asa Conkey, 
Andrew Abercrombie, Robert Ormston and Nathan Felton were 

Robert Ormston was a merchant and it is possible that Felton was 
in the same business, as it was the custom for all country merchants 
or grocers to keep liquors to sell to their customers and to treat 
good customers to a drink now and then. 

1780. Innholders, David Sloan, William Conkey and Samuel 
Sampson. Retailers, Andrew Abercrombie and Henry McColloch. 

1 78 1. Innholder, John Bruce. Retailers, Alexander Parry and 
Nathaniel Sampson. 

1782. Innholder, Samuel Sampson. Retailer, Nathaniel Samp- 
son. The Sampsons seemed to have a monopoly that year. 

1783. Innholders, Samuel Sampson, William Conkey, John 
Bruce, Nehemiah Hinds. Retailers, John Conkey, jun., Alexander 
Barry, Nathan Rankin. 

The license of Landlord Bruce reads as follow; "John Bruce of 
Pelham is licensed to be an innholder in his house there for the year 
next ensuing & Samuel Sampson as principal in behalf of said John 
recognises to the Commonwealth in the sum of fifty pounds with 
sureties, viz., William Conkey and John Conkey jun., in the sum of 


;^2 5 each to keep good rule and order in his House and duly observe 
the laws made for the regulation of such houses and also to keep and 
render the accounts and pay the Duties the law requires." 

It will be noticed that Bruce's bondsmen and sureties were in the 
same business and probably Bruce reciprocated the favor and doubt- 
less his name could be found as bondsman or surety for some of 
those holding licenses that year. 

1784. Innholders, William Conkey, John Bruce, Nehemiah Hinds, 
Thomas Dick. Retailers, Alexander Barry, John Conkey, jun., 
William Ashley. 

1785. Innholders, John Bruce, Nehemiah Hinds. Retailers, John 
Clark, jun., Wm. Ashley, Elihu Billings, Ebenezer Gray. 

1786. No record of innholder or retailers this year. 

1787. Innholder, Nehemiah Hinds. Retailer, Wm. Ashley. 

1788. Innholder, Benoni Shurtleiff. Retailers, Wm. Ashley, John 
Conkey, Isaac Abercrombie. 

1789. Innholder, Nehemiah Hinds. Retailers, Wm. Ashley, 
John Conkey. 

1790. Innholder, Benoni Shurtlieff. Retailers, Wm. Ashley, John 

1 79 1. Innholders, N. Hinds, John Stickney, Benoni Shurtlieff. 
Retailers, John Conkey, Nathaniel Sampson. 

1792. Innholders, and retailers same as in 1791. 

1793. Innholders, Nehemiah Hinds, Benoni Shurtlieff. Retailers, 
Luke Montague, Jacob Packard, John Thompson, jun., John Stickney. 

1794. Innholders, John Stewart Parks, Nehemiah Hinds, John 
Conkey, Lebbeus Howard. Retailer. Luke Montague. 

1795. Innholders, John Conkey, N.Hinds. No retailers recorded- 

1796. Innholders, John Conkey, Nehemiah Hinds, John Cole. 
Retailer, Asaph Lyon. 

1797. Innholders, John Cole, Christopher Patten, Nehemiah 
Hinds. Retailers, Robert Ormston, David Hannum, Asaph Lyon. 

1798. Innholders, John Cole, C. Patten, N. Hinds. Retailers, 
Robert Ormston, John Cole, James Lindsley. 

1799. Innholders. John Cole, Nehemiah Hinds. Retailers, 
Robert Ormston, Nathan Felton. 

1800. Innholders, Christopher Patten, Nehemiah Hinds, Harris 
Hatch. Retailers, Robert Ormston, Nathan Felton. 


1 80 1. Innholders, Harris Hatch, Nehemiah Hinds. Retailers, 
Robert Ormston, Harris Hatcli, Natlian Felton. 

1802. Innholders, Nehemiah Hinds, Harris Hatch, John Rich- 
ardson. Retailers, Nathan Felton, Harris Hatch, John Richardson, 
John Conkey. 

1803. Innholders, Harris Hatch, Joseph W. Hamilton, N. Hinds, 
Retailers, Robert Ormston, John Conkey, Nathan Felton. 

1804. Innholders, Harris Hatch, Joseph W. Hamilton. Retail- 
ers, Nathan Felton, John Conkey, Robert Ormston. 

1805. Innholders, Harris Hatch, Joseph W. Hamilton. Retailers, 
John Conkey, Nathan Felton. 

1806. Innholders, Joseph W. Hamilton, Walter Eaton. Retail- 
er, Marston Eaton. 

1807. Innholders, Walter Eaton, Chelles Keep. Retailers, 
Marston Eaton, Nathan Titus, Isaac Conkey. 

1S08. Innholder, Walter Eaton. Retailers, Marston Eaton, 
Nathan Felton. 

1809. Innholder, Walter Eaton. Retailer, Marston Eaton. 

1810. Inholders, Nathan Felton. Retailer, Marston Eaton. 

181 1. Innholder, Eliphaz Packard. Retailer, Marston Eaton. 

1812. No Innkeepers License. Retailers, Marston Eaton Luther 

18 13. No Innkeeper Licensed. Retailers, Marston Eaton, Isaac 

18 1 4. Innkeepers, William Smith. Amariah Robbins. Retailer, 
Marston Eaton. 

1815. Innkeepers, Nathan Felton, Rebecca Smith. Retailers, 
Barna Brigham, Marston Eaton. 

1816. Innholder, Nathan Felton. Retailers, Stacy Linzee, 
Barna Brigham, Isaac Abercrombie, Jr., Marston Eaton. 

18 1 7. Innholder, Marston Eaton. Retailers, Marston Eaton, 
Stacy Linzee, Isaac Abercrombie Jr. 

18 18. Innholder, Nathan Felton. Retailers, Packard & King- 
man, Isaac Abercrombie, Jr., Stacy Linzee. 

18 19. Innholder, Stacy Linzee. No Retailers. 

1820. Innholders, Martin Kingman, Nathan Felton. Retailers, 
Martin Kingman, Stacy Linzee. 

182 I. No Innholders. Retailers, Martin Kingman, Stacy Linzee. 
1822. Innholder, Martin Kingman. Retailer, Martin Kingman. 


1823. Innholder. Martin Kingman. Retailers, Martin Kingman, 
Wells Southworth. 

1824. Innkeeper, Martin Kingman. Retailers, Abial B. Smith, 
Rufus Southworth, Martin Kingman. 

1825. Innkeeper, Oliver Bryant. Retailers, Rufus Southworth, 
Martin Kingman. 

1826. Innkeeper. Oliver Bryant. Retailers, Martin Kingman, 
Rufus Southworth. 

1827. Innkeeper, Ralph Kellogg. Retailers, Martin Kingman, 
Bryant & Kingman. 

1828. Innkeeper, Ralph Kellogg. Retailers, Martin Kingman, 
Lewis L. Draper, Bryant & Kingman. 

1829. Innholders, Martin Kingman, Ziba Cook. Retailers, 
Martin Kingman, Lewis L. Draper. 

1830. Innholder, Martin Kingman, Ziba Cook. Retailer, Martin 

183 1. No Innholder licensed. Retailers, Lewis L. Draper, 
Martin Kingman. 

1832. Innholder, Martin Kingman, center of the town, Ziba Cook 
Southwest part of the town. Retailers, Martin Kingman, Lewis L. 
Draper, at store in Southwest part of the town. 

1833. Innkeeper, Martin Kingman. Retailer, Martin Kingman, 
at his shop center of the town. 

1834. Innkeeper, Martin Kingman, Ziba Cook. No Retailers. 

1835. Innholders, Martin Kingman, not Licensed to sell spirits. 
Ziba Cook, licensed to sell spirits. No retailers. 

1836. Innholders, Martin Kingman, not licensed to sell spirits. 
No retailers. 

1837. Innholders, Benjamin Randall, at his house on the county 
road from Amherst to Enfield, licensed to sell spirits. No retailers.. 

1838. Innholders, Martin Kingman, licensed to sell wine at his. 
old stand ; Ziba Cook, licensed on application of the selectmen to. 
sell wines, beer, ale, but not distilled spirits. 

1839. Nathan Weeks, licensed as a retailer of wines and fer- 
mented liquors, at the store formerly occupied by Joel Packard. 

1840-41. Innholder, Benjamin Randall. 
i842-'43-'44. Innholder, Calvin D. Eaton. 
1845. No licensed innholder. 


i846-'47-'48. Innholder, Calvin U. Eaton. 

1849. No license granted. 

1850. William Newell, licensed an innholder and common victu- 
aller at his dwelling house and at the public house near the mineral 
springs which he had discovered on his farm. Calvin I). Eaton was 
also a licensed innholder that year. 

No licenses granted from 185 1 to 1 86 1 . Nor any of record from the 
last date until 1890, although the Orient house built in 1861, was kept 
open for summer guests and invalids until 1881 when it was burned. In 
1890, Theodore F. Cook was licensed as a common victualler and 
opened Hotel Pelham at the center of the town, and has run the 
house as a hotel since that time to date. 


It is probable that Thomas Dick was the first merchant as well as 
the first tavern keeper, as in addition to his license as tavern keeper 
in 1763, he was "licensed to sell Tea, Coffee and China Ware out 
of his house in Pelham. The said Thomas to render the accounts 
and pay the duties required by the law of this Province." 

Robert Ormston was a merchant in the town but at what date he 
opened business is not easy to determine. He was a licensed retailer 
of spirits, first in 1778, and as most of the grocers were retailers of 
spirits it may not be unfair to assume that John Cole and James 
Lindsley or Linsey and Nathan Felton, who were also licensed 
retailers for several years, may have been small dealers in groceries 
and other necessities, having stores in different parts of the town. 

Robert Ormston who is known to have been a merchant, continued 
to appear as a licensed retailer of spirits down to 1804 as did Nathan 
Felton and John Conkey. Ormston's store was on the \^'est Hill. 

Marston Eaton's name appears the year after Ormston's ceases to 
appear. Eaton was a merchant and Nathan Felton continued to 
appear as a retailer down to 1810. Felton resided in that part of 
Pelham now Prescott. 

Kingman &: Packard were in company for a year or more from 
18 18 and then Martin Kingman was merchant and retailer at the 
center of the town. Not a little of his trade is said to have come 
from Amherst people who came out to Kingman's store for bargains. 
Kingman continued in the business of merchant and tavern keeper 




for some years. He closed his career as innholder in 1838, and 
probably continued as a merchant well down to that time. He was 
a capable business man and used to take quantities of wood in 
exchange for goods, which he marketed at Amherst. 

In 1823 the name of Wells Southworth appears as a licensed 
retailer. His store was a building on the south side of the Com- 
mon, opposite the old meeting house and stands near, and a little 
west of Hotel Pelham, and is still owned by the Southworth family. 
Rufus Southworth was connected with the business for several years, 
keeping the goods usually sold at country stores in those days. The 
last license to Rufus Southworth as retailer was issued in 1826. 

Wells Southworth sold out his store, also the homestead of the 
family, and removed to South Hadley Falls in 182 8 and engaged in 
the mercantile business. 

A syndicate, consisting of Jared T. Westcott, Cyrus Kingman, 
Lyman Jenks, Dr. I. H. Taylor, Asa Thompson, Lemuel C. Wedge, 
Chancellor Wheeler, and perhaps others, built a store east of Martin 
Kingman's tavern and store, with a shop in the upper story for 
• making shoes about the year 1845. and Chancellor Wheeler con- 
ducted the business that was done there, the business having been 
first started in the house of Lyman Jenks, which has since been 
remodeled into Hotel Pelham. Wheeler died in 1850 and \\'illiam 
Conkey, son of Warren Conkey, succeeded Wheeler. Job Miller was 
the next proprietor of the store, and was followed by Enos S. Rich- 
ardson. Richardson was the village merchant for a number of years 
or until 1866 when Myrett E. Boynton purchased Richardson's inter- 
est and continued as grocer and postmaster in the same building 
until 1895 when it was burned, and another and better store was 
built. Mr. Boynton continues to be the only merchant and postmaster 
in town. 

About the year 1828 Lewis L. Draper opened a small store oppo- 
site where the Methodist church now stands at West Pelham, in a 
building now used as a barn on the north side of the road just west 
of the church. Draper was licensed as a retailer of spirits, and the 
last year his name appears was 1832 when he was licensed "to sell 
in his store in the southwest part of the town." 

Hardin Hemmenway of Shutesbury succeeded Mr. Draper, and 
after Hemmenway, Elijah Hills, a brother of Leonard M. Hills of 


Amherst, occupied the store and dealt in pahii-Ieaf hats, taking them 
in exchange for goods. 

George L. Shaw, a son-in-law of Ziba Cook, was in business at 
this stand for a short time and then the store was closed. 

William Barrows and Chester Gaskell reopened the store formerly 
occupied by Lewis L. Draper and others under the firm name of 
Barrows & Gaskell in 1847 or thereabouts, and put out split palm- 
leaf among the people of this town and Shutesbury to be braided 
into palm-leaf hats. They kept groceries and some dry-goods to 
supply their customers. The firm was not very successful and closed 
the business after running about a year. 

In 1853 or '54 Chester Gaskell went in company with Warren C. 
Wedge in a building forty or fifty rods west of the Methodist church 
and now occupied as a dwelling by James Miller. Wedge had 
opened a shop for manufacturing shoes and kept a small stock of 
groceries and dry goods. The men both worked at shoes and 
tried to build up a paying business, but did not succeed as well as 
they had hoped, and the firm was dissolved after being in business 
for a short period, Wedge going to Chicopee to meet with better suc- 
cess in business. 

In 1873, James A. Murray and John F. Murray of Boston obtained 
control of the asbestos lands on Butter Hill, and opened the mine for 
getting out the asbestos. J. F. Murray opened a grocery store in the 
building east of the Methodist church, afterwards used by Alfred Tuttle 
as a carpenter shop, but continued the business only a short time. 
The Murrays left the asbestos mine and the grocery business in 1874. 
John sold his goods to Martin I). Gold, who continued in the busi- 
ness about a year and then closed the store. Edwin J. Powell started 
in the grocery business in 1882. In 1884 he built a house and store 
opposite the Methodist church and opened for business as a grocer 
and butcher. The daily mail having been established between the 
center of the town and Amherst, a post-office was opened at the store. 
Mr. Powell was postmaster from March 30. 1887 to Aug. i, 1893. 
The business venture not proving sufficiently profitable. Mr. Powell 
sold his goods to W. J. Harris, July 5, 1893. Harris ran the store 
about a year and gave up the business, and the post-office was dis- 
continued in 1893. 


Business at Packardville. 

About the year 1S40, Joel Packard and John Thurston, both Pel- 
ham men, built a shop at the south part of the town, on the county 
road from Amherst to Enfield, and started the manufacture of wagons 
under the firm name of Packard & Thurston, and since that time 
that hamlet has been known as Packardville. The wagons they 
built were good, strong, durable vehicles, being equipped with what 
was known as " thorough braces " instead of steel eliptic springs, 
which were then unknown. Packard & Thurston were practical 
workmen at the business themselves and employed a few men 
besides. The firm finally decided to remove their business to Bel- 
chertown, and did so, taking down the old shop and removing that 
as well as the business. The first store in this part of the town was 
opened by Anson Ramsdell and James Hanks at Packardville near 
where the roads cross. Ramsdell put in five or six barrels of liquor 
to sell with other goods. Hanks found that the liquor business was 
ruining the trade and sold it all out at once to an Enfield tavern 
keeper. They gave up business and removed to Hardwick. 

In the year i860, James and \\'arner Hanks of Greenwich came to 
Packardville and built a store on the site of the wagon shop and fill- 
ed it with a suitable stock of dry goods and groceries and opened 
for business. They continued in business nine years and sold their 
stock of goods to Jared Gould, renting him the store. Gould ran the 
business for two years, when Elmer Whitney succeeded him. Mr. 
Whitney was in business for nearly two years when his health failed 
and he died. 

Abraham Stevens was the next merchant at Packardville ; he began 
business in January, 1873 and continued for nearly two years, when 
he died. Since then there has been no store at Packardville and 
the building has been taken down. 

Silas S. Shores built a small store at the Hollow and used it for a 
flour and meal business for a short time previous to 1872, when he 
rented the store to J. Monroe Packard who put in a stock of groceries 
and a small line of dry goods. Packard continued the business for a 
year and a half and then relinquished the venture because of the 
limited trade. Mr. Shores still owns the building, which has since 
been converted into a dwelling. 

258 history of pelham, mass. 

Justices of the Peace. 
Dea. Ebenezer Gray was commissioned as Justice of Peace on 
petition of the people in 1786, and was probably the first one in town 
up to that time. James Abercrombie, Isaac Abercrombie, John 
Conkey, Jr.. Barna Brigham, Constant Ruggles, Henry Kingman, 
Oliver Smith, Jr., Ezra Brown, John Rankin, Jr., Cyrus Kingman, 
John Parmenter, David Abercrombie, Horace Gray, John Jones, 
A. C. Kieth, John F. Dyer, C. D. Eaton, Minor Gold, and per- 
haps others have served the town in the capacity of Justice of 
Peace. Probably Henry Kingman was as notable as any. He 
came to Pelham from Bridgewater early in this present century, 
being the first of that name in the town. For many years he was 
appealed to for professional services. Many important cases were 
brought before him for trial as his docket or record book gives 
abundant evidence. Civil and criminal cases were numerous seventy- 
five years ago. Squire Kingman was a fine penman, and his services 
were sought for in drawing up transfers of property, such as deeds 
and mortgages, etc., and also in the settlement of estates. J. W. 
Keith, Mrs. J. W. Keith and Silas S. Shores are the Justices now 
under commission in the town. 


Dr. Robert Cutler, the son of Rev. Robert Cutler of Greenwich, 
was born at Epping, N. H. He began the study of medicine at 
Hardwick ; began practice in Pelham in 1770; married Widow 
Esther Guernsey of Northampton, and daughter of Elisha Pomroy, 
Dec. 22, 1773. He was a physician at Pelham until 17S7, when he 
removed to Amherst. Dr. Cutler was a prominent man in town 
affairs and served on the school committee. He was not in sympathy 
with the insurgent element led by Capt. Daniel Shays in i786-'87 
and vigorously opposed the plans of the rebel leader. The Shays 
men were determined that he should fall into line with them and 
appointed a night on which he was notified they should call upon 
him and insist on his accompanying them to Springfield in the 
capacity of surgeon. The doctor was not at home when they called. 
Being disappointed in not finding him they demanded food of Mrs. 
Cutler and she set before them what food there was in the house. 
When the food was eaten they demanded cider and liquor. Mrs. 
Cutler placed herself in front of the door leading to the cellar, and 


declared that all cider or liquor obtained would be secured by pass- 
ing over her dead body. The rebels made some threats, broke some 
dishes but went their way without tasting the Doctor's cider. 

Dr. Nehemiah Hinds was a man of affairs as well as a physician 
and his name appears very often in town and church records from 
1780 to 1825. 

Dr. Isaac Powers was in town early in this century. 

Dr. Henry Williams name is found in connection with his services 
attending the poor of the town. 

Dr. Abiah Southworth was another prominent man as well as 
physician from 1785 to 1828. 

Dr. Olney Potter lived at the west end of the town on the farm 
now owned by George P. Shaw. 

Dr. Albigence King was practicing in town as early as 18 17, per- 
haps earlier ; he also ser.ved the town as school committee. 

Dr. Daniel Thompson was a native of Pelham and was a practic- 
ing physician for twelve years before removing to Northampton. 
He served as school committee. 

Dr. Nathaniel Ingraham was a physician in 1839. 

Dr. Israel H. Taylor was also a native of the town and was a suc- 
cessful physician in his native town before removing to Amherst. 

Dr. Adam C. Craig was in town a few years. 

Dr. Code was in town for a short time. 

Dr. Rhodes was connected with the Orient house for several sea- 
sons, as was Dr. Beers. 

Dr. Herman Heed was the proprietor of the Orient Springs House 
when it was destroyed by tire in 1881. Since his removal from town 
there has been no resident physician in Pelham. 


Robert Peibols one of the leading men in the purchase of the tract 
of land and starting the settlement, was the first blacksmith. Where 
his shop was located is not known, but the ring of Peibols' anvil was 
the first heard in the settlement. 

Doubtless other blacksmiths came when Peibols laid down his 
hammer for the last time, but no record tells who they were during 
the latter part of the eighteenth century. Early in the Nineteenth, 
Thomas Harlow worked as a blacksmith at the west end of the town 
near the Methodist church. 


Jonathan Pratt had his forge in the Valley, and David Hannum 
had a blacksmith shop on the county road at the west end of the 

Abijah Bruce was a blacksmith in the Hollow for many years and 
lived on the place now occupied by John Vanstone. His shop was 
on the opposite side of the highway. 

Nathaniel Dodge was a farmer and blacksmith on the main road 
from the center of the town to Packardville and was succeeded by 
his son, EUison Dodge. 

Samuel W. Russell and his brother John S. Russell worked at 
blacksmithing at that part of the town called Packardville. 

In more recent years Ansel Hill was the village blacksmith, a short 
distance west of the center of the town. 

At present Justin W. Canterbury works at the business towards the 
south part of the town, and Charles A. Holcomb towards the south 
part, but nearer the center than Canterbury. 

Population of Pelham and Amherst Compared. 





















I 144 





I 185 























The First Prcsbvteiian Church History gathered from the town and 
parish records, the old church records Iiainiig been lost or 

The Presbyterian Church. 

As all records of the organization of the Scotch Presbyterian 
church at Pelham are lost or not accessible it is impossible even to 
fix upon the exact date of its organization. It is well known that 
the settlers of the town begun to build the meetinghouse in 1739 
and that the first service was held long before it was finished. 

Services were continued from that time until the Rev. Robert 
Abercrombie began to preach to the people of the town in 1742, 
who these " supplyers " were we find no record. Mr. Abercrombie 
was settled in 1744 and was the pastor for twelve years, — including 
the two years that he preached before his ordination. After his 
dismissal by the Presbytery there was no settled pastor for nine 
years, or until the settlement of Rev. Richard Crouch Graham in 
1763. It was during this long interval that the town was without a 
settled orthodox minister, that the town was prosecuted or indicted 
by the grand jury of Hampshire county and ordered to appear in 
court to answer for the neglect ; the record in detail being given 
elsewhere. During the years from 1754 to 1763 it is probable there 
was preaching most of the time, sometimes by preachers sent by the 
Presbytery and sometimes by the action of the people of the town in 
sending a man as a committee or agent to secure a minister for the 
town. In 1755, the year after Mr. Abercrombie was dismissed, there 
w^ere three ministers that received pay for services supplying the 
pulpit. Rev. Mr. Dickinson was allowed £2 — 12s, Rev. Mr. Mc- 
Clintock, ^4 — 8s, and Rev. Mr. John Houston ^5 — 8s. 

How many others supplied the pulpit that year is not known, but 
as ^45 was voted for the support of the Gospel that year the services 
of Messrs. Dickinson, McClintock and Houston could not have cov- 
ered the entire year. About £i\o was allowed for the support of the 
Gospel each year following 1755 up to the settlement of Mr. Graham 


but who the ministers were that preached for these Presbyterians all 
these years is not clear from the town records. 

In October, 1760 John Crawford was chosen to go to New Jersey 
to " Gett a Minister to supply the Pulpit," and on another occasion a 
man was sent to Pennsylvania on the same errand. The long horse- 
back journeys involved in seeking a minister is evidence that no pains 
or expense were spared in searching for pulpit supply by the people 
of Pelham at that time. 

At a meeting Jan. 24, 1763, it was "voted that Richard Crouch 
Graham is to be their Gospel Minister," and ^60 a year fixed as the 
salary of Mr. Graham. He was ordained and began his labors as 
pastor and a new house was built for him. The only means of infor- 
mation as to the location of the house is the following vote concern- 
ing the location of a road : " That there is a two Rode Road estab- 
lished from ye two Rode Road south of Mr. Grahams New House by 
s'' house to the County Road. Consented to by R Crouch Graham 
March 4, 1765." 

Notwithstanding the protest of twenty-one men against the action 
of the majority in voting to settle Mr. Graham, (three of them being 
men who protested against the settlement of Mr. Abercrombie) he 
seems to have been successful in his work for the seven years he was 
spared to labor with them. Mr. Graham died on the 25th of Febru- 
ary, 177 1 in the 32d year of his age, and the town was again left 
without a settled pastor. 

In October, 1772, the Rev. Andrew Bay was invited to settle as 
pastor, and /^8o granted as a settlement ; but Mr. Bay was not set- 
tled, and the church was without a settled pastor until 1775 when 
Rev. Nathaniel Merrill was installed, a call having been extended to 
him Nov. 23, 1774. At a meeting August 28, 1775, it was "Voted 
there is preperation to be made for the installment of Rev. Mr. 
Merrill, and that said preperation be for Ministers & other Gentle- 
men of Liberal Education.'' Thomas Cochran, Robert Hamilton 
and James Halbert were chosen committee to make the necessary 
arrangements for the entertainment of the dignitaries invited to take 
part in the installation. 

From what part of the country Mr. Merrill came from is not indi- 
cated, but Jonathan Gray was allowed " £1, 14s expense Money for 
Bringing up Mr Merrill and family." £']o was voted as settlement 
and ;^8o yearly salary; and £60 was added to his salary in 1778. 


This income was probably necessary owing to the depreciated 
currency. Further increase of his salary was found desirable, and in 
1779 ;^42o was added to Mr. Merrill's salary, but this vote was 
recalled subsequently, as was the increase of £Go previously voted 
and the pastor was left with the original salary, and its value in cur- 
rency inuch depreciated. 

Mr. Merrill made a strong appeal to the people of the town after 
the above reconsideration and the result of his appeal caused the 
people to do justice to their pastor; and at a meeting Dec. lo, 1779 
the ^420 was again voted and the vote stood firm. Mr. Merrill's 
plain statement of facts concerning himself was what the town meet- 
ing of Dec. 10, 1779 was called to consider. It was placed before 
the town in the form of a warrant for their consideration and is 
found on page 138. 

March 23, 1780 it was "Voted that there is ^^2000 added to the 
Rev Mr Merrills ^500 for the Present year," — amounting to ;^25oo 
in depreciated continental currency. 

On the i8th of May, 17S1 there was a town meeting at which the 
town " Voted Twenty three Hundred and twelve pound ten shillings, 
old Continental Money to be assessed to Enable the Treasurer to 
settle with Rev. Mr. Merrill." 

July 30, 1 78 1. Article in warrant for town meeting : 

" To see if the town will reconsider a vote passed in April last to raise 
^23 1 2 -los continental money to redeem a note given to Air. Merrill by the 

There is no record of action on this article; but the vote to raise 
;^3o in hard money for the supply of the pulpit at this meeting indi- 
cates that Rev. Mr. Merrill had been dismissed, although no record 
of dismissal appears upon the records. — the dismissal of ministers 
being by action of the Presbytery or Council. 

The Presbyterian church and town was without a pastor again for 
quite a number of years and dependent upon the " Supplyer." It 
was during this long period in which there was no settled pastor that 
the church and town had the experience with the unregenerate 
impostor, Stephen Burroughs, in 1784, and the year and more of 
turmoil and excitement of the Shays Rebellion in 1786-87. The 
second parish had been organized and consequently the tirst parish 
was obliged to do the same and the business of securing supplyers. 
devolved upon the parish instead of the town from 1786 to 1822. 

264 hisrory ok pelham, mass. 

First Parish Records, 1786 to 1822. 

The call for the first meeting of the first parish was issued by 
Ebenezer Mattoon, Jr., of Amherst, Justice of the Peace, and was 
directed to John Rinkin, Dec. 25, 1786. The parish was organized 
Jan. 4, 1787 with the following officers: Ebenezer Gray, moderator : 
Andrew Abercrombie, parish clerk ; Lieut. Joseph Packard, Hugh 
Johnston, Capt. John Thompson, parish committee ; John Harkness, 
Joseph Hamilton, Lieut. Nathaniel Sampson, assessors ; John Peebles, 
parish treasurer. 

Sept. 18, 1787, " Voted to authorize Collector to take produce for 
parish Rates at following prices : 

" Voted that the collector shall take flaxseed at 4" pr Bushel — 
Wheat at 4'-6'' pr bushel — Rye at 3'° pr bushel, Indian corn at 2^-4'' 
pr bushel, — oats at i'-4'' per bushel, — Peas at 4' per bushel, — Butter 
at 7' pr pound. Voted that the above said stipulated articles shall be 
transported by each individual that has rates to Pay to the Parish 
treasurer, that each carry his produce to the Collector, and the 
latter not obliged to take flaxseed after Sept. next." 

A committee was given full power to settle with the second parish 
concerning pews in dispute by allowing the owners one-third of the 
first cost if good security is given for the pews. "Voted that com- 
mittee allow half way between one half and one third of the first cost 
•of pews in the first parish meeting house." 

Meeting, Oct. 5, 1787 "Voted that Pews lately purchased of the 
.second parish shall be disposed of by seating them to those that 
have no Pews and pay the highest taxes, shall have their choice of 
Pews by paying the sum which was offered for them when they were 
tformerly seated." 

Oct. 15, '' Voted that there be made one tear of pews on the side 
■Gallery and that they be offered to the highest in valuation that has 
110 pews — so in the same proportion till the whole is compounded." 

Meeting, Feb. 7, 1791. 

" Chose Lt John Rinken, Lt Nath" Sampson, Mr Hugh Johnson, 
M' Jonathan Leach, Lt Benoni Shurtlieff a committee to fix on a 
sum or sums for the Settlement and Sallery of M' Jabez Pond Fisher. 

Voted to give Mr. Fisher ^145 Settlement, ^ of it in one year from 
ithe time of Settlement and the other | in two years from said time. 
Voted to give Mr. Fisher £G^ a year for two years then add ;{^2-io' 


yearly till it amounts to ^80." But Jabez Pond Fisher was not 
settled in Pelham. 

Mr. Merrill was dismissed in 1780 and until August 27, 1795, 
they were without a settled pastor. Patrick Peebles and Robert 
McCuUoch had gone to bring Rev. William Oliver's family (probably 
from Londonderry, N. H.) to Pelham, Mr. Oliver having accepted 
their call. At this distance from the period of which we are writing 
it is impossible to state what obstacles may have been in the way of 
having settled ministers instead of supplyers, but the fault must have 
rested largely with the people themselves. Just how many ministers 
they had called to settle cannot be determined accurately but it was 
a fact that in the early part of 1791 they had given calls to Rev. 
Jabez Pond Fisher and Rev. Solomon Spalding, but for some reason 
that does not appear upon the record the call was not accepted in 
either case. Mr. Freeman and a Mr. Stone and probably others had' 
preached as supplyers. 

Mr. Oliver accepted their call in 1792, but one condition of his 
acceptance was, the paying one-half of the ^160 settlement within 
two months after his ordination and the other half within one year,^ 
instead of one year to pay the first half, and two years to pay the 
second, as first voted. Possibly the knowledge had become general 
that the people of Pelham did not have the united and harmonious 
relations with their ministers to be desired, or if such relations existed 
at the settlement of a minister they did not continue long, and under 
the circumstances it would be a good move to have a good part of 
the settlement paid early. The ordination had taken place and there 
was now a settled minister in the first church and parish as we learn 
by the record of the meeting, Oct. 28, 1793. 

Meeting, June 10, 1794. 

•' Article 3 To see if it is the minds of the Parish to Direct the Parish 
Committee to proceed in Colom'ing the backside of the Meetinghouse 
according to a former vote of the Parish. 

Article 4 To see if it is the minds of the Parish to Grant Dr Southworth 
and others the Privilege of Putting in a window for the use of the Pulpit in 
the first Parish Meetinghouse." 

On article 3, it was " Voted to Direct the Parish Committee to 
postpone CuUering the backside of the Meetinghouse for the 
Present." No action on the proposition of Dr. Southworth to place 


a window in the meeting house to allow the light to shine into the 

The assessors were directed " to asses the salery of Rev. Mr. 
Oliver and the remainder part of his Settlement as soon as May be." 
This indicates that his settlement was not paid according to the vote 
when he was settled. 

Meeting, May 14, 1799. 

"Voted to seat the singers in tlie gallerys. Voted to give the 
Singers all the front seats and all seats in the East gallery, and one 
half of the seats in the West gallery." 

Both Parishes had begun to realize that it was not easy to run two 
parishes in the town, and in a call for a meeting of the first parish, 
May 29, 1805', appears this article : 

" To see if it is the Minds of the Parish to Chose a committee to consult 
with the Committee from the East Parish on the Expediency of the Parishes 
Joining in the Support of the Gospel and Pass any vote on the subject 
tliat shall be thought Necessary on the Suljject."' 

Acting on the above article it was " Voted to chose a Committee 
of five — Lt Rinken, Dea Gray. Landlord Hach, Major Conkey and 
Ksquire Abercrombie — said Committee to treat with the Second 
Parish on the Expediency of the Parishes Joining in the Support of 
the Gospel." 

The labors of Rev. Andrew Oliver had ended in the first parish, 
for, at a meeting Oct. 7, 1805, the warrant calls for action on the 
following business : 

" To see what sum the Parish will Grant for the yearly support of the 
Rev'' Mr. Brainard in Case lie takes the l^astoral Charge of this Cliurchand 
Congregation and Pass any vote tlve Parish shall tliink Necessary on the 

Actions on above article : — "Voted to raise the Rev Mr. Elijah 
Brainard $350 for his yearly support so long as he Performs the 
Ministerial Duties in this Church and Congregation. 

Choose Dea. Ebenezer Gray, Dea. Nathaniel Sampson and Mr. 
John Rinken Committee to Make arrangements for the Installation 
of Rev. Mr. Elijah Brainard." 

March 23, 1806 " Voted to Choose two men to go to Randolph to 
, Sarch out Mr. Brainard's Carictor : — Said men is Dea. Thompson 
and Dea. Grav." 


Unquestionably the ("ommittee went to Randolph to " Search the 
Character " of Mr. Brainard as at a Meeting in May following, Dea, 
Gray was allowed $15.29 for a journey to Randolph and Dea. 
Thompson $17.00 for a journey to Randolph: — the latter was 
also allowed $4 for the use of a horse on the same journey and Dea. 
Gray was allowed $5 for his time. 

The murmurings of the anti-Brainard party seemed to come up con- 
tinually as shown by an article in the warrant for a Parish Meeting, 
November 25,1806, based on a petition sent in by anti-Brainard men. 
What they petitioned for is herewith set forth : — 

•' To see if the Parish will Remit the Parish taxes of all those who do not 
attend the Administration of the Rev. Elijah Brainard nor wish to support 
him as their Minister." 

"Voted not to Remit taxes of those who do not attend the Admin- 
istration of the Rev. Mr. Brainard." 

Meeting May 3, 1809. The commendable freedom from trouble 
in the church and parish for two years past could not be continued, and 
the old opposition to Rev. Mr. Brainard crops out again, as per 
warrant : — 

" Article 2. To see if the parish will Choose a Committee to converse 
with Mr. Brainard at this session and state to him the situation of support- 
ing him as their Minister and Make and Receive propositions for his 
removal from the Charge of this Church and Congregation, and make 
report of it at s'' Meeting and poll all votes relative to the above subject." 

x\ction on above article. " Voted to choose a committee to treat 
with Mr. Brainard Respecting taking a Dismission, — James 
Abercrombie, Wm. Dunlap, Lt. Taylor, Lt. Rankin and Samuel 
Clark, committee." 

A special Meeting of the Parish was called Oct. 17, iSii, with an 
article in the warrant, of which the following is a true copy. 

"Articl2 2. To see if the inhabitants of the first Parish of Pelham will 
vote to Dismiss the Rev. Elijah Brainard from his Pastoral care and 
Charge of this Church and Congregation of said Parish." 

Action on warrant :---" Doct. Abiah Southworth chosen Modera- 
tor : — Voted to Dismiss Rev. Mr. Brainard in a legal Mode. 

Voted to choose a agent to Attend Presbytery Respecting the 
Dismission of Mr. Brainard, said Agent is James Abercrombie. 

Voted to send Ensign John Rinken to Presbytery with Mr. 


The Presbytery made the Pelham people two propositions for 
them to select from in dismissing Mr. Brainard, and at a Meeting, 
Nov. 1 8, 1811, they "Voted to Except the first proposal of the 
Presbytery, that is, to pay Mr. Elijah Brainard $160 according to 
the Proposal of the Presbytery. 

Voted to raise $160 to meet the above vote." 

The dismissal of Mr. ]5rainard was accomplished at last after a 
rather stormy pastorate of about five years. He was settled by 
installation near the last of the year 1805 or early in 1806. Early 
in the spring following the mutterings of dissatisfaction began and 
a committee of two Deacons were sent to Randolph " To Sarch out 
Mr. Brainard's Carictor," and from that time on there was a Brain- 
ard and an Anti-Brainard party until he was dismissed. 

It is probable that Mr. Brainard still remained a resident of the 
town after his dismissal from the pastorate, as in a copy of the tax bills 
of the first parish for the year 18 13 the name of Elijah Brainard 
appears as a tax payer. 

In 18 1 2 Andrew Hyde, David Harkness, George Macomber, 
Isaac Otis, Jun., John Harkness, Jr. and David Hannum petitioned 
the General Court to be set off to Amherst for parochial purposes, and 
an order of notice was served on the parish by Ebenezer Mattoon 
sheriff. The parish voted promptly not to set ofi^ the petitioners and 
choose a committee to oppose the petition in the General Court. — 
They were not set off. 

Meeting, Dec. 4, 18 12. 
Warrant, Article 2. "' To see if the Parish will Chose a Committee to 
Converse with the Committee of the Second Parish of Pelham respecting 
forming a union of the two Parishes so far as relates to Ministerial affairs." 

Committee's Report. 

" To the Inhabitants of the first Parish in Pelham, in this Meeting, 
Assembled. Centlemen :— We your Committee appointed to Consult with a 
Committee from the Second Parish of Pelham, have meet According to 
Appointment and have agreed to propose to the several Parishes as follows : 
(Viz.) That the first Parish should raise one hundred Dollars and the 
Second Parish one Hundred Dollars and that the aforesaid sums be laid 
out for the support of a publick teacher of religion and Morality, the 
publick meetings to be held three fifths of the time in the first Parish Meet- 
ing house and two fifths in the Second. The time proposed for said Agree- 
ment to Commence is the first of April next. 

Ebenezer Gray, John Rankin, James Abercromi;ik. Committee. 
Pelham, Dec. 31, 18 12." 


Committees of both parishes agreed upon a basis of union in Dec, 
1812 to take effect April, 1813, but no union was effected. 

As there was no settled pastor now the sum of $200 was thought 
sufficient for the support of the Gospel for the year 18 14. 

Meeting, Jan. 2, 18 15. " Voted to give Rev. Winthrop Bailey a 
call for Settlement. — Voted to give him $400 per year providing he 
will settle with us as long as he remains our Minister. '' 

March 24, 1817. About this time there began to be some dis- 
satisfaction with the Old Meeting house. Some seemed to be in 
favor of general repairs on the old building and others were anxious 
for a new one. This difference of opinion was the cause of dis- 
agreement and contention. The parish would vote to build a new 
house, and order plans : — then reconsider, and vote to repair the old 
one by subscription. Adjournment would be carried at this stage of 
the proceedings and on assembling a vote to build a new Meeting 
house would be carried. This change of sentiment and reconsider- 
ation of votes continued through many meetings for a year or more 
and then settled down to making an agreement with the proprietors 
of the old Meeting house, July 4, iSiS, as follows : " Voted to give 
and relinquish to the proprietors of the pews in the Meeting house 
the pew ground and seats in the front of the body pews on the lower 
floor in lieu of the $200 voted on the 27th of May last to assist said 
proprietors in repairing the Meeting house." 

April 10, 1820. It is possible that the vote of the previous year 
to allow Doct. Abiah Southworth $5 for sweeping the Meeting 
house, " Extra and Common," had caused a belief that the Doctor 
was getting too much of the parish money into his hands, and the care, 
of the Meeting house was struck off to the lowest bidder. Eliot. 
Gray got the plum for $2.17 for the ensuing year. The meeting 
was adjourned several times and the last to July 4th. 

A large measure of harmony and contentment seemed to prevail 
under the ministration of the Rev. Winthrop Bailey and the people 
were not called together in parish meeting during the time from July 
4, 1820, to April 3, 182 I — which was a long time for them. Rev_ 
Mr. Bailey was a man greatly respected by the people of Pelham and 
had much more pleasant relations with them than some of the 
pastors that preceded him. He was on the school committee for 
several years, and was chosen as delegate from the town to the 


Constitutional Convention held at Boston on the 3d of Nov. 1820, 
for the revision of the Constitution. He owned a farm in the town 
and probably devoted a portion of his time to tilling it. Mr. 
Bailey was dismissed in September 1825 and was the last Presby- 
terian pastor settled in Pelham. Some years elapsed before 
another pastor was called and during this interval there was a 
change to Congregationalism. Mr. Bailey moved to Deerfield in 
1825, — taught in the Deerfield Academy : and preached at the 
Unitarian Church at Greenfield, now known as All Souls Church, 
from 1825 to 1S30. Descendants of Mr. Bailey lived in Pelham for 
many years and there are some in Northampton at the present time. 

Taxing the property of the whole town for the support of the 
minister began to be a source of irritation, and considerable opposi- 
tion arose, not only in Pelham but all over the state from those of 
different religious sects that had began to appear in the towns. In 
Pelham when the Scotch Presbyterians were in the ascendency, the 
few Quakers, Baptists, Universalists and Unitarians that had come 
in objected to having their property taxed to support the Presby- 
terian Church. The feeling became so strong in the state that in 
1833 the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution was adopted 
which put an end to the taxation of any mans property for the sup- 
port of the Gospel without the consent of the owner, and the result 
of this change tended to lessen the amount raised for the support of 
the Presbyterian Church and to cause a neglect of the ordinances of 
the gospel on the part of some of the people of Pelham. 

In the foregoing records of the first parish the frequent applica- 
tions for abatement of a parish tax because parties taxed claimed 
to belong to the Baptist persuasion, or of some other belief than the 
"standing order" or that they were Quakers, gave the Scotch 
Presbyterians not a little vexation, and it will be remembered that they 
required those who desired to be relieved from taxation for the 
support of the Gospel, to prove they were of another faith before 
the tax was levied upon them. While no such documentary proofs 
appear on the parish record book they are found on the town records, 
copies of a few follow : 

'• Belchertown, July 14 daj- A. D. 1S06. 

This may Serve to Sertify the Town of I'elham the first Parish in Parti- 
cular that Mr. Oliver Smith of Pelham is Member of the Baptist Society 
in Belchertown and Pays towards the support of the Gospel thair. 

Jeremiah Haskel, Teacher." 



"We certify that Lewis Draper, William Gaskin, Levi Newell, Solomon 
Braley, Collins Braley, Jesse Allen, Esick Baker, Joseph Howard, Silas 
Bayington, Laben Alby, Ezra Brown, Jesse F. Peck, Isaac Otis Jun., 
Oliver Curtice, Nathan Jilson, Sen., Reuben Waiscoat, John Taylor, 
Aaron Dwelley attend the Baptist Meeting in Shutesbury and when held 
elsewhere, and pay to us the Baptist order in Shutesbury there fore, these 
are to Desire that they may be Exempted from Taxes as the Law Directs." 
Joseph Smalage. Lisco.mb Brigham, Luther Spear, Committee. 
Shutesbury, Nov. nth, 181 1." 

"We certify that Joseph Whipple of Pelham Belongs to the Religious 
Society in the town of Dana, Called Universalists. 
Dated this first Day of April 1812. 

Stephen Johnston, Aaron Johnson, Committee." 
Pelham, Third Mo. the 2Sth, 1820. 
''We the Subscribers, Overseers of the Meeting or Society of Friends 
Called Quakers in the Town of Pelham in the County of Hampshire do 
hereby certify that Samuel Willard Usually attends with us in our Stated 
Meetings for Worship. 

Asahel Aldrich, Clerk." 

From the Records of the Second Presbyterian Church and 
Parish of Pelham, from 1786 to 1822. 

After a long contest on the part of the people living East of the 
West Branch of Swift River they succeedecl in securing the passage 
of an act of incorporation through the legislature for a Second parish, 
to include all that part of Pelham East of the River, and also 
included some people living in New Salem. 

The act passed both houses of the General Court and was signed 
by Gov. James Bowdoin, Jan. 28, 1786. 

The first parish meeting was held Aug. 24, 1786. — Moderator, Dr. 
N. Hinds ; Clerk, Lamond Gray ; Treasurer, James C. McMillin ; 
Parish Committee, Dr. N. Hinds, Alexander Berry, John Linsey ; 
Assessors, Wm. Conkey, Jun., Lt. John Hamilton, William Berry ; 
Collector, Eliot Gray ; Daniel Grey, Surety for the Collector. 

With the above officers chosen the Second Parish of Pelham was 

^10 was voted for the support of the Gospel and ^10 for defray- 
ing parish expenses for the year, ending in April, 1787, when a new 
set of officers was chosen and ^10 voted for the support of the 

In March, 1788, It was "Voted to send a man to inform Mr. 
Chatman that we are making preparations to give him a Call. 


Voted Daniel Gray should be s'' Messenger. 

Voted to appoint a Minister to hold a day of fasting to Moderate 
the Call for the settlement of Mr. Chatman. 

Voted that the Rev. Moses Baldwin should be s'* Minister. 

Voted to give Mr. Chatman a call. 

Voted six shillings per week in summer and seven shillings in 
winter for boarding the Minister." 

April 14, 1788. "Voted to give Mr. Chatman ^150 Settlement 
and from ^50 to £jo Sallary — Payable thus, — ;^5o yearly for 
three years — then ^^55 the fourth year and advancing £c^ a year 
until £-jo and that be his sallery as long as he remains the Minister 
of s" Parish." 

Dec. 9. 1788. "Voted that the Committee of said Parish 
should proceed in building the Meeting house as fast as they Con- 
veniently Can. 

There is no record of the settlement of Mr. Chatman over the 
Second church, Oct. 25, 1790. 

" Voted to invite Mr. Jabiz Pond Fisher to settle with us in the 
Ministry. — Then Voted him settlement and sallery just as was voted 
to Mr. Chatman — with the addition of twenty cords of wood 

No record of the settlement of Jabiz Pond Fisher. 

April 12, 1793. Voted to send for Mr. Fish to supply the pulpit 
four Sabbaths." 

Dec. 20, 1793. "Voted to give the Rev. Matthias Cazier a call to 
settle in the Ministery in this 2'' Parish of Pelham. Voted to give 
the Rev. Matthias Cazier iJ'ioo Settlement and ^^65 and 20 cords of 
wood to be his yearly sallery." 

Mr. Cazier was settled over the church and parish. The new 
Meeting house was still unfinished and there was not entire harmony 
and satisfaction with Mr. Cazier, as the very grave remonstrance 
presented against the action of the council indicates. 

Action of the remonstrants to calling Mr. Cazier, from the church 

•• To the Rev' Eccleseastical Council Convened at Pelham Second Parish 
for tlie purpose of introckicing Mr. Matthias Cazier into the work of the 
Gospel Ministery over the clnirch and people in this place. 

Gentlemen : — We the subscribers belonging to said parish view with great 
concern the measures taken by this people for the settlement of a Gospel Min- 
istry among us as now proposed ; we as individuals remonstrate against the 


proceedings of both Church and Parish and seriously request of the 
Venerable Council that they will not be active in supporting the gentleman 
proposed to the work of the Ministry over us contrary to our inclination 
and remonstrance. 

Our reasons against such measures are the following. Viz : 

1. That we are total strangers to the gentlemen's character and know 
not whether it is religious or moral. 

2. The church and parish we consider to have been hasty and premature 
in their invitation of him to a settlement before the people would have 
convenient opportunity to cultivate such an acquaintance with him as to 
form a satisfactory opinion respecting him. 

3. We are by no means agreed with Mr. Matthias Cazier in religious 
sentiment so far as we have been able to learn them from his public preach- 
ing the few Sabbaths he has been with us, and desire to have no such 
public teacher placed over us the tendency of whose instructions we con- 
cieve to be subversive of all morahty. 

4. The conduct of Mr. Matthias Cazier on all matters relative to his 
settlement among us has been so opinionalive and dictatorial as to give us 
grounds to apprehend that he is not possessed of that spiritual prudence 
which is requisite in a gospel minister, and of a Soverign disposition to 
Lord it over God's heritage. 

The above. Gentlemen, is sufficient to convey our sentiments respecting 
Mr. Matthias Cazier: we earnestly desire to have a gospel minister settled 
among us whose religious sentiments are similar to our own : and will cheer 
fully unite with this parish in the choice and settlement of such a gentlemen 
when Providence shall open a door for it. 

But permit us to assure your venerable council that if this man is settled 
amongst us we will take the earliest opportunity to petition the general assem- 
bly of this Commonwealth that agreeably to the Constitution of this state we 
may severally be annexed to those towns upon the religious institutions of 
which we can conscientiously and profitably attend. 

We are with greatest respect, Gentlemen, your friends and servants. 

William Conkey, Alexander Conkey, Wm. Cowan, Thomas 
CoNKEY, Joseph Aiken, Daniel Gray, Joel Conkey, Samuel Sloan. 
Pelham, March 23'', 1794. 

A true copy of the original. Attest 

Reuben Moss, Scribe.'' 

Rev. Reuben Moss was the pastor of the church in Ware and was 
doubtless present as pastor of his church at the council convened 
for the ordination of Rev. Mr. Cazier, and as scribe, made the copy 
of the remonstrance. 

May 9, 1794. " Voted to take away the south poarch from the 
Meeting house and finish the place where it stands. Voted to make 
an alteration on the north side pews in the Meeting house to have 
an Elder seat. Voted to have a hunge cannapy." 


March 30, 1795. "Voted to remit Capt. Daniel Siiays rates for 
the settlement of Mr. Cazier." 

March 28, 1796. " Voted to call a council to decide the difficul- 
ties between the parish and Mr. Cazier, also voted for the parish to 
chuse a committee to request Mr. Cazier to join with the church in 
calling a Mutual Council to try the charges that have been brought 
against Mr. Cazier." 

That the matters which were troubling the good people of the 
second parish at this time may be better understood we copy from 
the church records the charges of Dr. Hinds against Rev. Matthias 
Cazier over his own signature. 

"To the Church of Christ in Pelham, East Parish : — 

The subscriber as Plaintiff exhibits the following complaints as matter of 
grievance against the Moral Character of the Reverend Matthias Cazier. 

He considers the following articles as what may be confirmed by legal 
evidence and as contrary to the laws of God, — what he would wish to sub- 
mit to the judgement and decision of the Church. 

The articles of aggrievance are as follows. Viz : 

I. A disregard to the truth, repeatedly, first in declaring previous to his 
installation that he would give up his settlement whenever he should be 
dissmissed from Pelham, if the Council judged he was in the blame, and at 
another time denying that he ever made such a promise. 

Secondly. — his reporting that he had sent a letter to Mrs. Cazier that he 
should set out from Pelham to Castleton on the i2''> day of May, and then 
saying that if he did not set out on the 5"' of May in the same year, he 
should dissappoint Mrs. Cazier and fail of being at the s<' CasUeton at the 
time he had sent to her in the above s'^ letter. 

Thirdly. — In representing and declaring that his great opposer Reuben 
Marston of Castleton had manifested that he had wronged him, and made 
retraction for it which is not a truth. 

Fourthly. — In falling from a bargain he made with me to procure him 
lumber for his house. 

Fifthly.— In declaring that he believed only a less part of Creation would 
be saved, and afterwards denying that he ever said a less part would be 
saved but the greater part. 

Sixthly.— Profaneness. In saying that he would not pray for the Rever- 
end Mr. Williams of Leveritt because lie was in error; but if he did he must 
pray as the other man did. — O Lord! Damn such damnable doctrines. 

Neh'h Hinds." 

Meeting, April 6, 1797. Chose parish officers etc. " Voted to 
have a dog whipper — choose John Gray Dog Whipper by giving 
four mills. 

Voted to invite a number of Ministers to consult and advise the 



parish under their present difficulties. — Voted to invite the Rev. 
Joseph Blodgett of Greenwich, the Rev. Andrew OHver of Pelham, 
the Rev. David Parsons of Amherst and the Rev. Thomas Holt of 
Hardwick for s'' Advisers." 

Thomas Gray, Robert Crossett and Dr. Hinds was chosen a com- 
mittee to present the case to the four ministers and they heard the 
case of the parish on the last Wednesday in April 1797 at the house 
of Dr. Hinds. May 3, '97 the parish voted to ask the church to call 
a mutual council before which the difficulties might be brought for 
final decision, and a committee was chosen to lay the case before the 
council, and also instructed to provide for the entertainment of the 
of the council which was to convene at the house of Dr. Hinds, and 
which they desired to have conv^ene before the first of July. 

The church made answer to the request for a mutual council by 
letter to the committee of the parish, a copy of which follows. 

The reply of the Church to the demand of the Parish for a council 
to examine into the charges against Rev. Matthias Cazier by Dr. 
Nehemiah Hinds. 

'• Pelham, May 5, 1797. 
To the Church of Christ in the 2^ Parish in Pelham : 

To Doctor Nehemiah Hinds, Mr. William Berry and Mr. William 
McMillen, a committee chosen by the 2^ Parish of Pelham who applied to 
us by their letter dated May 3'', 1797, to call an Ecclesiastical Council for 
the purpose of examining into certain difficulties which the said Parish may 
have with their Pastor : — 

Gentlemen. — This church beg leave to inform you that they feel in duty 
bound in chusing and calling an Ecclesiastical Council, to abide by the 
principles upon which Mr. Cazier was settled in this place. — We also inform 
you that we are willing to join with the Rev. Matthias Cazier in chusing a 
Mutual Council, one half to be chosen by this church and the other half of 
the Council to be chosen by Mr. Cazier, — for the purpose of looking into 
our Difficulties and bringing them to a final issue. 

Whenever the Parish, individuals of the Parish, or an individual, will 
bring in a written complaint to the Church against our pastor, signed by 
•those who will engage to support it, — and give the names of two or more 
witnesses for the support of each charge in the complaint, and that the 
Parisli shall vote Money for the support of said Council when convened, — 
then the Church will proceed to the choice of a council, and send letters 
.Missive to Churches which may be called to by their pastor and delegates 
to the house of Doctor Nehemiah Hinds. — at a time which shall be 
appointed by the Church when they shall send letters for a council. 

Wishing that our present conduct may be influential to our mutual good. 
We remain yours affectionately, 

By order of the Church, 

Matthias Cazier, Moderator, 
James McMillex, Clerk of the Church. 
A true copy from the original, 

James C. McMillen. Clerk of the Church." 


The letter of the church concerning the mutual council was not 
satisfactory to the parish and a vote was passed not to accept it. It 
was also " Voted that all that are willing to enjoy Mr. Cazier as their 
minister may have that privelige and all that are not go where they 

At a Meeting of the Parish May 9, 1797 John Maklam was 
chosen to present the answer of the church to Rev. David Parsons 
of Amherst for his consideration and for him to pass judgment upon 
the same. Rev. Joseph Blodgett of Greenwich was also invited to 
review the answer of the church to the parish. 

Whatever the advice of the two eminent ministers may have been 
is not stated, but the parish "Voted May 11"' to accept the answer 
or terms of the Church, except the word engage, and the granting of 

Letters Missive were sent out and the Council was called on the 
14th of June, 1797, at the house of Dr. Hinds to consider his 
charges. No record of the action of the Council is found, but at a 
parish Meeting held July 3, 1797 it was "Voted that the result of 
Council should be read. — Also voted to accept the result of the 

Meeting Feb. 21, 1798. 

" Dr. Hinds moderator. — Motioned and seconded that all those that 
are not for Mr. Cazier as their Minister under present existing circum- 
stances to move to the west end of the Meeting house and also 
twenty-nine moved to the west end of the Meeting house, which was 
the whole of the voters present." 

This would indicate that the council of June 14, 1797 did not 
reconcile the people to Mr. Cazier. There was a council called on 
March 14, 1798 which voted to dismiss Mr Cazier, after hearing the 
facts. Rev. David Parsons of Amherst was moderator and Rev. 
Thomas Holt scribe. The council in their report reviewed the 
troubles of parish and pastor at length, and the vote for dismission 
was unanimous, after giving good advice to the church, pastor and 

However injudicious and imprudent Mr. Cazier may have been as 
pastor of the second church in Pelham he was evidently a man of 
much ability, a fine penman, and wrote in a pointed yet respectful 
manner in his address to the church which follows : 


" Pelham, April 25, 1796. 

An address to the Church of Christ in the 2' Parish in Pelham. 

Dearly Beloved Brethrex : — As I consider the sole right of impeach- 
ing my character is invested in you, — I shall always view your conduct 
as justifiable, in making use of all the light which can come to you by any 
means, in order to see whether my character deserves impeachment. — I also 
consider that you are under an obligation by your own articles, as well as 
by the general laws of Christ, — to attend to creditable reports existing 
against the character of any of your members. — I would beg leave also to 
observe that all reports have some degree of credit until experience shall 
determine you to conclude that any person, who makes a report, has done 
that, which in your view ought to destroy the credit of his reports. — Under 
a sense of your duty to be a city set upon a hill — I would observe, — that 
whereas I have heard a report — that Mr. David Wait has intimated in a 
Parish Meeting that he has a difficulty with me. Therefore I would request 
that you would take such a method as your wisdom shall direct to search 
into the nature of his difficulty and the evidence which Mr. Wait has to 
convince you that he has a just foundation for the difficulty. I would also 
observe that it would discover partiality in you in favor of me to presume 
that Mr. Wait would give the most distant hint in a publick manner, — 
that he was burdened with me, without being always ready to give you 
sufficient evidence, that his burden is justly founded. 

Therefore proper respect to Mr. Wait requires you to make enquiry 
into his difficulty and the evidence which he may give to convince you that 
he ought to have the difficulty. 

I am Dear Brethren Yours 

in the fellowship of the Gospel, 

Matthias Cazier." 

Meeting April 17, 1798. 

The church and parish being destitute of a settled pastor, Daniel 
Gray, Wm. McMillen, Wm. Berry, Robert Crossett and James Linsey 
was chosen a committee to supply the pulpit and another long term 
without a settled pastor began. "April 13. 1801 it was voted that 
the sexton shall be the lowest bidder, and was struck off to Jonathan 
Millen for $1.23. He is to repair the windows by putting into them 
nine squares of glass, and sweep the Meeting house once if no 
preaching and four times if preaching. Chose Doc't Hinds and 
Capt. Millen Dog Whippers. Voted to have a candidate to preach 
in this parish. Voted the place for the candidate should be the 
Lowest bidder and was struck off to Jonathan Millen for 8s — 3d per 
week for Boarding him and keeping his horse." In 1802 a com- 
mittee was chosen to converse with Mr. Tobey on terms of settle- 
ment but there is no record of Mr. Tobey being settled. Mr. Sebas- 


tian C. Cabbot was engaged to preach three months, m October, 1806, 
and he continued to preachfor sometime; $150 was votedforhis supj^ort 
in December of that year, " on condition that Mr. Sebastian (aljbot 
shall have the privilege to be Dismist in one year after giving notice 
to the parish that he was dissatisfied by lodging his reasons in the 
Clerk's office ; and whenever a Majority of the Inhabitants shall 
vote against him as minister by a Dissatisfaction of his Moral 
Carricter he shall be Dismist in one year after being notified of 
such Vote." The time was afterwards changed to six months. 

March 27, 1S07. "Voted that the Ecclesiastical Council now 
convened shall go on and settle Mr Sebastian C. Cabbot to the 
work of the Gospel Ministry, etc." At the same meeting the parish 
voted " Fifthly for the parish to act and pass all such votes as shall 
be thought necessary to keep peice and harmony with themselves 
and the world of Mankind." 

August 21, 1809. ''Voted to Join with the Church to agree with 
Mr. Sabastian Cabbot to call a mutual council for his dismission." 
Mr. Cabbot was dismissed but probably not until February, 1810. 
No record of the work of the council is found on the parish records. 

The people were without a pastor again and dependent upon com- 
mittees to supply the pulpit. 

The records speak of negotiations with the West Parish for the 
mutual support of the Gospel as early as 18 16, and these negotiations 
were continued from time to time by both parishes but there is no 
record found of their joining in the good workup to the time Prescott 
was set off as a town in 1S22. 

The name of Rev. Mr. Marcy appears in a way to indicate that he 
preached for the Second Parish in 18 16. 

Rev. Mr. Cazier was settled early in 1794 and dismissed March 
14, 1798, after a pastorate of four years. Rev. Mr. Cabbot was 
settled in 1807 and the pastoral relation was ended in 1S09, so that 
for only about six years did the people of the second parish have a 
settled ministry from 1786 to 1822, a period of 36 years. Besides 
the two ministers that were settled we find personal mention of only 
a few ministers of the many that must have preached there during 
the period named. Rev. Mr. Chatman, Rev. Jabiz Pond Fisher, 
Rev. Mr. Fish, Rev. Mr. Marcy, Rev. Mr. Tobey, and Rev. Mr. 
Moss are all the records make mention of as supplyers of the pulpit, 
when there was no settled minister. A Congregational church was 
organized in Prescott in place of the Presbyterian church in 1823. 

religious societies. 279 

Confession of Faith and Eng-agements of the East Church 

IN Pelham. 

"Whereas in divine Providence we are formed into a Society by ourselves,, 
we, to promote the worship of God, the interest of the Redeemer, and our 
Mutual Editication thereto under Christ as our Head in one church by the 
Name of the East Church in l^elham. In testimony of our Union, Faith 
and Fellowship, we adopt the following Confession of Faith and Engage- 

1. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the 
Word of God and the only rule of P^aith and Manners. 

2. We own and believe the Doctrines contained in the Westminister 
Confession of Faith approved by the Church of Scotland, to be founded 
upon the Word of God, and we acknowledge the same as the Confession of 
our faith, and we will firmly and constantly adhere thereto, assert, maintain,- 
and defend the same to the utmost of our Power and Ability. 

3. We are persuaded that the Presbyterian Government and Discipline 
of the Church of Christ as have been practiced in the Church of Scotland, 
are founded upon the Word of God, and agreeable thereto, and we promise 
to submit to the Said Government and Discipline, and to concur with the 
same and endeavor to maintain, to support and defend tliesaid Presbyterian 
Government and Discipline as far as our position and Circumstances will- 
admit thereof. 

4. We promise and engage to do our endeavor to maintain the Peace and 
Unity of the Church, the Worship of God, the honor of Christ and the 
interest of his Kingdom according to our respective, Places and Relations. 

5. We promise and engage as fellows citizens with the Saints, and of the 
Household of God, Constantly and perseveringly to walk together in all the 
ordinances of Christ's house and in all the Precepts of his holy religion, to 
pray for one another, and to watch over one another, not for our halting,, 
but for our mutual good unto the edification of the Body of which we are 
joint members. 

Moses Gray, Aaron Gray, Daniel Gray, 

James C. McMillen John Linsey, Patrick McMillen, 

John Ha.milton, John McMillen, Alexander Berry, 

William Berry, Thomas McMillen." 

The Persons belonging to the Church in the Second Parish when 
it was incorporated we learn from a paper bearing the names in the 
Volume of Ancient Church records, and which is carefully copied. 

'• .A List of the Members both male and female of the Church of Christ, 
in the Second Parish in Pelham, — you are to observe the Men's Names are 
taken down and their wives Names in one line. 

The Names of Men whose wives have joined the church and they have 
not are set against their wives Names. 


Mens Names 
Deacon Patrick McMillen, 
Deacon Daniel Gray. 
Aaron Gray, 
Moses Gray, 
Alexander Berry, 
James C. .McMillen, 
William Berry, 
John McMillen, 

Isaac Baker. 

Mary McMillen, 

Mary Gray, 

Ruth (iray — Isabel Gray. 

Martha Berry, 
Sarah McMillen, 
Naomi Berry, 
Mary McMillen, 
W^' Rebacah Maklem, 
Eunice Sloan, 
Abigail Shays, 
Rebeccah I5aker, 
W'' Mary Linsey, 
W'' Anne Linsey 

Jeremiah Gray 
James Linsey 

William Linsey, 
Joel Gray, 
Isreal Crosett, 

Mary Ann Linsey, 
Alice Willson, 
Sarah Crosett, 
Susannah Linsey, 
Martha Gray, 
Martha Crosett, 
Lyda Gray, 
Jean McMillen, 

Samuel .Sloan, 
Capt. Daniel Shays, 

William Willson, 
Arcliibald Crosett, 

Thomas Gray, 
Wm. McMillen." 

During the pastorate of Rev. Matthias Cazier, Capt. Joel Gray was 
in command of one of the Militia companies, and William Linsey a 
member of the Company and also a member of the Second Church 
became intoxicated on training day, — was sorry for it, and made a 
confession which we copy. It is undoubtedly the composition of Mr. 
Cazier and in his handwriting, and probably expressed the erring 
one's sense of sin and need of forgiveness much better than he could 
have done it himself. 

" Pelham, Oct. 15. 1797. 

To the Church of Christ of the Second Parish of Pelham, under tiie care 
■of Rev''* Matthias Cazier, — from William Linsey a member of said Church: 

Beloved Brethren : — As on last Monday, at the Meeting of Capt. Joel 
Gray" Company, I was overtaken with the drinking of more Spirituous 
liquor than my nature could bare, and thus by my conduct I liave given 
an occasion to my fellow men to speak reproachfully of the Christian Cause 
of which I am an unworthy professor. Therefore I think it my duty to 
acknowledge my offence in a public manner. Therefore I now confess with 
shame and sorrow that I am guilty of the sin of intoxication, — and I pray 
God against whom I have sinned that he would, for the sake of the Lord 
Jesus Christ, pardon my great offense, and preserve me for the future 


from this and all other kinds of sins. I ask also the forgiveness of all 
whom I have offended by my sin. — 

I desire brethren, that you would accept of this my confession, and that 
you would pray for me, that God would, in mercy, overrule my past sins to 
his own glory, the good of his cause, the good of this church and the good 
of him who now confesses his sin. — That it would please God, by his grace 
to preserve from falling again into sin. — I remain, Dear brethren, your 
unworthy brother, but sincere in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel. 

Wm. Linsey." 

This confession was read in public and accepted by tlie Church, 
October 15, 1797. 

Jeremiah Gray became prejudiced against Rev. Mr. Cazier, took 
action against him, and absented himself from the sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper. He acknowledged his error sorrowfully. The con- 
fession of his error and sin is in the handwriting of Mr. Cazier and 
Mr. Gray affixed his signature to the document. 

" Pelham, May 20"', 1797. 

To the Church of Christ of the Second Parish of Pelham under the 
pastoral care of Rev'^ Matthias Cazier from Jeremiah Gray a member of 
said Church. 

Beloved Brethren — As my voluntarily absenting myself from the 
communion with the church, the last time the Sacrament of the Lord's 
supper was administered in this place, is well known both to the church and 
congregation. — I feel myself in duty bound to make Christian satisfaction 
for my great offense against God. 

Therefore I am willing to acknowledge before the church and congrega- 
tion, — That I am guilty of breaking covenant with the Church of Christ in 
this place. — I also acknowledge with shame and sorrow for mv sin. that I 
have indulged an unreasonable prejudice against our Pastor, and wickedly 
made his sin my excuse for committing the sin of breaking covenant with you. 

I pray the Lord to forgive my sins through the blood of that glorious 
Redeemer, Jesus Christ, whose cause I feel I have wounded. — I desire for- 
giveness of you the Church of Christ in this place, to whom I have given a 
just occasion of being offended. — I desire forgiveness of our Rev"* Pastor, 
and I desire forgiveness of all whom I have offended by my sins, — I desire 
brethren, that you will receive me as a returning prodigal, into your Christ- 
ian embrace, and that you would pray for me, that God would in mercy, 
overule my past sins to his own glory, the good of his cause, the good 
of this church, and the good of him who now confesses his sins. 

That it would please God by his grace to preserve me from falling again 
into sin.— I remain Dear brethren your unworthy brother, but sincere in the 
faith and fellowship of the Gospel. 

Jeremiah Gray." 

•282 history of pelha.m, mass. 

Records of Church at Pelham Center from 1822 to 1897. 
Calvinistic Church Organized in 1822. 

From recently discovered records of the church at Pelham Center 
during the pastorate of Rev. W'inthrop Bailey. 

Record of Church Meeting April 4. 1822. 

At a meeting of the church, notified and held for the purpose the 
following measure was unanimously adopted. 

" As the members of this church entertain different views of some doctrines 
which all regard as important ; and as some of the Members are desirous on 
this account of constituting a church by themselves, that they may enjoy 
christian ordinances in a way consistent with their own views of truth and 
Duty: tlierefore — Voted that with feelings of Friendship and Goodwill 
towards each other, and without aspersing or implying any censure on either 
part, we do now separate into two distinctand independent churches : the one 
to be known as the Congregational church and the other as the Calvinistic 
Church in Pelham, and we request so to be regarded by our sister churches ; 
and also the Table furniture shall be held in common and be equally for the 
use of both. 

Attest, Wixthrop Bailey, Moderator. 
A true copy of Church Records. Attest, \V. IjAilev. 
Pelham, April 11. 1S22." 

"At a meeting of certain members of the church not adhering to 
the change of sentiment taken place in the Rev. W'inthrop Bailey" 
. action was begun. 

Letters Missive were sent out by John Rankin Jr. and William 
Oliver to Rev'd Messers Crosby of Enfield, Perkins of Amherst and 
Woodbridge of Hadley to " meet and take into view our situation, 
and if they think proper, to organize us into a church by the name 
of the Calvinstic Church in Pelham."' 

These letters were sent out May 21, 1S22. 

On the 28th of the same month the three ministers met at the 
house of John Rankin Jr. A statement of facts was made by the 
"Independent ]h-ethren " to the above named elders, and upon the 
statements made to the elders, they judged it expedient to advise 
that a church to be known as the Calvinistic church of Pelham be 
organized. At 4 o'clock of the same day they proceeded to the old 
meeting house and organized the church agreeable to the vote. 
Rev. Joshua Crosby was Moderator and Rev. Nathan Perkins 




Articles of Faith and a form of Covenant were drawn up and 

Organized Members of the Calvinistic Church of Pelham. 

Ebenezer Gray, Agnes Gray, 

William Oliver, Anne Rankin, 

John Rankin, Betsey Gray, 

James Rankin, Hannah Millen, 

Ezra Lee, Mary Lee, 

John Gray, Diana Ingalls, 

John Millen, Mary Cook, 

John Rankin Jr., Mary Dunlap, 
Oliver Hamilton, 
Samuel Ingalls, 

John Dunlap, Polly Rankin, 

Levi Crafford, Patty Crafford. 

The following persons were admitted after the church was organ- 
ized as per dates : 

June 30. 1S22. Sarah Gray, Cynthia Rankin. Anna Hamilton, Betsey 

May iS, 1823. Silas Rankin, Sally Rankin, Susanna Cowan, Margerett 

Jan. I. 1S23. Clarissa Boyden. 

Nov. 6, 1825. Thankful Turner. 

July 6, 1S25. John Gray z'\ William Oliver. 

Oct. 28, 1827. Sylvia Hamilton, Hannah Conkey. 

With the above records of admissions the history of the Calvinistic 
church as organized in 1822 ends. 

It seems the Rev. Winthrop Bailey was charged with a " change of 
sentiment," by those that organized the "Calvinistic Church," which 
probably means that Mr. Bailey had become a Congregationalist, or 
more liberal in his views than was pleasing to those who took the 
name of Calvniists. Who preached for the Calvinistic church does 
not appear from the record, but it is certain that Mr. Bailey was not 
dismissed until 1825 and must have preached to all that were left 
after the organization of the Calvinistic church. 

During the period from 1827 to 1837 there was a great decline in 
religious observances ; there seems to have been no stated preaching 
in the old meeting house by any church organization. It was during 
this period that the Methodists under the preaching of Rev. John 
Stoddard gained a standing in the town by holding services in the old 
meeting house in 1831 and later. 


Possibly Rev. Luther Smith and Rev. L. A. Spofford may have 
preached sometime previous to 1837 but no records are found. 

The state of affairs, as pretaining to religious organization and 
observance is stated in a record of Oct. 26, 1837. 

" The original Congregational and Calvinistic churches in this Place 
having been disbanded for years, and the regular ordinances of the 
Gospel not enjoyed." — 

Rev. William Tyler, a relative of Prof. W. S. Tyler of Amherst, 
and settled at South Hadley, became interested in Pelham and was 
instrumental in organizing the church and society. 

An ecclesiastical council was called at the house of Nathaniel 
Pratt at Pelham on the 25th of October, 1837 ^^ response to letters 
missive from John' Gray, Henry Walker, Jonathan Turner and 
others. Churches in Amherst, Belchertown, Prescott, and Enfield 
were represented by pastor and delegate. The council deemed it 
advisable to organize a church and the name adopted was the 
Evangelical Congregational church of Pelham. 

Articles of faith and covenant were adopted. The following person 
subscribed thereto and were duly organized into a distinct church : 
John (iray, Sarah Thompson, Clarissa Boyden, 

Jonathan Turner, Livia Gold, Charlotte Eaton, 

Betsey Gray, Nancy Packard, Hannah Conkey, 

Eliza Turner, Mary Dunlap, Francis Eaton, 

Sally Kingman, Mary Walker, Lydia Wood, 

Anne M. Kingman, Betsey Smith, Mary Conkey, 

Mary Hayden. 

After the council had organized the church, — there being no settled 
pastor it was proposed that a standing moderator be chosen, and 
Rev. Nathan Perkins of Amherst Second church was chosen, and 
John Gray was also chosen to act when Mr. Perkins could not be 
present. Rev. L. A. Spofford was acting pastor for a year or more 
after the organization of the church and Daniel Packard was clerk 
and treasurer in 1838. It was in connection with this renewed 
interest in religious matters at Pelham the Rev. Frederick Janes was 
settled. How long he preached is not known. Then the movement 
was made for a new church building and the work was begun in 
1839, Rev. Nathan Perkins laying the corner stone. The first 
child baptized in the new church was Frances Atessa Eaton. From 
the records of the Hampshire East Association it appears that Rev. 
A. C. Page of Pelham was a member of that body in 1842, but there 


is no record of his installation at Pelham, yet it is highly prob- 
able that Mr. Page was installed in 1842 or 1843, and continued in 
charge of the church until 1850, perhaps longer. In 185 1 a new 
confession of faith and covenant was adopted. Rev. Samuel 
Wolcott was moderator at the meeting. 

In 1855 Rev. Zenas Bliss was acting pastor. Rev. Mr. Witherell 
was preacher at one time, also Rev. Mr. Howard. 

The above is nearly all there is of record concerning the church at 
Pelham center for some years. There was another period during 
which there was little religious zeal, and the organization of the 
church was again broken up. Not until after i860 was much 
interest manifested in church and parish matters. 

July I, 186 1, Rev. W. H. Dowden came to Pelham and began his 
labors as acting pastor of the church. 

In March, 1862, James M. Cowan, a native of the town, then in 

business at the hollow, and on the board of selectmen, interested 

himself in the reorganization of the society. A petition, addressed 

to Judge Ithamar Conkey of Amherst, was drawn up and signed by" 

the following persons, asking for a warrant under which to hold a 

meeting for organization : 

James M. Cowan, Lemuel R. Chapin, Gilbert G. Hunt, 

Russell Hildreth, Wm. B. Dovvnins, Joseph R. Hunt. 

W. H. Dowden, Albert A. (irout^ Charles H. Taylor, 

Nathan Canterberry, Moses L. Ward, Frederick Dane, 

E. S. Richardson, Milo W. Field, John Dane, 

John B. Davis, Horace Stacy, Lyman Jenks. 

April 8th, 1862, the organization was effected with the following 
officers: Clerk, M. W. Field ; Treasurer, W. B. Downing; Executive 
Committee, J. M. Cowan, M. L. Ward, L. R. Chapin, E. S. Rich- 
ardson ; Collector, W. B. Downing. 

April 15th, it was voted to engage Rev. W. H. Dowden to supply 
the pulpit for the year ending April i, 1863. 

In September 1862, a move was made to secure a bell for the 
church. The bell was purchased and presented to the society " for 
its use so long as the society sustains evangelical preaching in the 
meeting house, but should the society fail to do this for the term of 
two years, the bell may be disposed of as the donors may direct." 

Names of doners : 

Ladies' Sewing Circle, $25.00, 
E. S. Richardson. $26.79, 


James M. Cowan, $15.00, 
Luther Chapin, $5.00, 
Samuel Williston, )i?is.oo, 
J. P. Williston, $25.00. 
J. H. Gamble, $10.00, 
Wells & E. Southworth, $20.00, 
L. M. Hills & Son, $10.00, 
Wm. B. Downing, $5.00. 

The bell which Lord Pelham is said to have donated to the town 
in response to the honor paid him in giving the town his name never 
was received, but the new steel bell from the above named donors 
still hangs in the church belfry, and its clear tones can be heard 
across the great hollow, on Prescott Hill, and when the wind is 
favorable it can be heard at the western border of the town. 

Rev. W. H. Dowden was very successful in his work at Pelham, 
from the first, and a goodly number were received into the church 
by letter, and May 6, 1862, sixteen persons were received on pro- 
fession of faith ; these additions were the result of religious interest 
the previous winter. 

Nov. 5, 1863, Rev. W. H. Dowden was ordained and installed 
over the church, Rev. Dr. Eddy of Northampton preaching the ser- 
mon. First church at Northampton, Amherst Second and College 
church, Prescott, Belchertown, New Salem, Enfield and Greenwich 
churches being represented. 

August 6, 1864, Rev. Mr. Dowden received and accepted a call to 
the Congregational church at Carlyle. Mass. Was dismissed from 
the church at Pelham and began his labors at Carlyle, Sept. i. 1864. 

Erom 1864 to 187 1 there was no settled minister. On the 
2ist of March, 1865, instructions were given to employ Rev. 
R. D. Miller for a year, and for two years after Mr. Millers' service, 
Rev. Matthew Kingman supplied the pulpit. Rev. William K. Vaille 
was settled over the Union Church at Packardville on the 2Sth of 
June 187 1 and an arrangement was entered into by the churches 
whereby Mr. Vaille was to preach Sunday mornings at Packardville 
and in the afternoon at Pelham center. Mr. Vaille preached to both 
churches until 1887 when he resigned, but the arrangement has been 
continued until now under various acting pastors, being for the most 
part students from Amherst College. Their names will be found in 
the notice of the Union Church at Packardville. 

religious societies. 287 

Quakers or Friends. 

Pelham was settled by Presbyterians of the straightest sect, and 
the Church they estabUshed was the only Church organization in 
town until the second parish was incorporated in 1786 and the 
" East Church in Pelham " was organized, and this church also 
was pledged to '' maintain, support and defend Presbyterian govern- 
ment and discipline " 

A few baptists had moved into town as well as a few Universalists 
and Unitarians, — just enough to complain about being taxed for the 
support of the Gospel as preached by the Presbyterians, and not 
enough to support a church organization of either creed. Eseck 
Cook, a Quaker, came to Pelham from Cumberland R. I. in 1806, 
and he was instrumental in gathering together a small society of his 
faith and erecting a plain one storied building at the westerly 
part of the town for use as a house of worship, and it was always 
known as the '• Quaker Meeting I-iouse." The building stood 
upon the edge of a somewhat level tract of land bordering upon the 
" highway leading from Amherst to Boston. " as expressed in the 
deeds of the property, and was purchased of Samuel Arnold and 
deeded by him and Rhoda his wife " to William Bassett of Richmond, 
Cheshire County, N. H. Alice Turner and Benjamin Dexter of 
Orange in the County of Hampshire, Massachusetts, for, and in 
behalf of the Monthly Meetings of the People called Quakers, 
Known by the name of the Richmond Monthly Meeting." There 
was about four acres of land sold to the Quakers March 12, 1808. 
On this lot the plain Meeting House was erected, and there the 
Quakers worshipped in their quiet way for many years, until there 
were but few left, and the society was broken up. The " Monthly 
Meeting " continued to hold the property until "fourth month, fourth 
day, eighteen hundred and fifty five " when it was sold to Ziba Cook 
for $86.50 by the Uxbridge Monthly Meeting. Edward Earle of 
Worcester, Clerk, acting as agent. The four acres of land had one 
small plot in which the Quakers buried their dead, and the deed to 
Ziba Cook contains the following reservation. 

" Reserving for ever a right of passage way in and over said land 
to the graveyard belonging to the said society situated in the rear of 
said lot of land, which graveyard is to be retained for the use of said 
society, and is not intended to be conveyed by this instrument. " 


The Quaker Meeting house, brown with age and the absence 
of paint stood on the brow of the hill long years after services were 
entirely suspended, as through patiently waiting for the plainly dressed 
demure worshippers to return but they never came. The property 
was sold as already described and the Old Meeting house was 
turned to use as a barn, and is still standing. 

Baptists at Packardville. 

In 1 83 1 a petition signed by a number of persons in the north 
part of Belchertown, the south part of Pelham and the north-west 
part of P2nfield was addressed to the First Baptist church of Belcher- 
town asking permission to organize a district society of the Baptist 
denomination at Packardville, the distance from Packardville and 
vicinity being too great for the people to go to the first church at 

The request of the petitioners was granted and a society organized, 
and a meeting house was built at Packardville not long after. The 
society was quite prosperous for perhaps thirty years under the charge 
of the following pastors : Rev. Messrs. Bigelow, Burt, Vaughn, 
Smalledge, Snell and Emerson Hill, and then there was a decline in 
the work and services by the Baptists were almost if not entirely sus- 
pended for some years, or until there was a movement to organize a 
society that should include those of every evangelic faith who might 
be living in the neighborhood from which the Baptists had come, 
which was started in 1868. 

The Methodists. 

In the early part of the year 1831 Rev. Isaac Stoddard, a member 
of the New England (,'onference was invited to Pelham to preach, 
and he came. Other Methodist preachers had occasionally preached 
in town before Mr. Stoddard came but had not succeeded in making 
much impression in favor of Methodism. Mr. Stoddard was well 
received, as at that time there was no stated preaching in the old 
Meeting House of the Presbyterians except now and then by a few 
Unitarians, and Mr. Stoddard held meetings there. x-Xs a result of 
his visit to Pelham the New England Conference saw fit to appoint 
Mr. Stoddard to the town for the year 183 1 and he was reappointed for 
the year 1832. During the first year of Mr. Stoddard's ministry in 
Pelham there was a notable revival and as a result Methodism secured 




a permanent hold upon the people of the town, and the members 
of the society numbered about one hundred and twenty-five at the 
close of Mr. Stoddard's labors. 

Rev. John Case was the successor of Mr. Stoddard in this field of 
labor and was with the new society one year, and in 1S34 Rev. Eras- 
tus Otis and Rev. William Gordon was appointed to take charge of 
the work. Pelham and Greenwich being connected by the confer- 
ence. In 1835 Rev. O. Robbins were appointed to take charge of 
the Pelham church which continued to increase and extend its use- 
fulness, but in the second year of Mr. Robbins pastorate and for 
several years following there was a visible decline in the prosperity 
of the society, owing to prominent members leaving town for more 
enterprising places of business. 

Up to 1S36 the Methodists had occupied the Old Meeting House, 
— built by the original settlers of the town soon after purchasing the 
tract of land in 1738-9. It was in 1836 that the first movement was 
made towards erecting a church for themselves, but it was not suc- 
cessful, and they continued to occupy the old meeting house. 

Ill I S3 7 Rev. James O. Dean was appointed to labor with this 
people. He was continued in the work for two years. Mr. Dean 
was an earnest worker and gave his best efforts to build up the 
church. He reported 77 person's names on society or class papers 
when he commenced his labors and that fourteen or fifteen persons 
joined the society during the two years of his labors, yet the net gain 
was small on account of deaths and removals from town. 

Rev. Mr. Dean was a much beloved pastor of the Methodist church 
of Pelham and was greatly respected by the people of the town gen- 
erally. The earnestness and zeal of Mr. Dean, and the work he 
accomplished for the society over which he had been appointed as 
pastor for two years led to the expression of an earnest desire for a 
reappointment and the conference returned him to the Pelham field 
in 1S43 and 1844. It was while giving his best service to the Meth- 
odist society that he was stricken with lung fever and died. He 
died on the loth of October 1844, and was buried in the Valley 
Cemetery. Perhaps no pastor of the Methodist church was more 
sincerely mourned, or was held in more grateful remembrance than 
Mr. Dean. 

The effort to build a meeting house once abandoned or postponed 


was renewed in 1838 and during the following years the project was 
pushed as fast as the limited means of the society would permit. 

Augustus Webster donated a site on which to build and through 
the efforts of Rev. Mr. Dean the building of the meeting house was 
hastened. The work was accomplished and the church was dedi- 
cated in the autumn of 1840. Deeds of the pew holders were sub- 
scribed by Thomas Ikiffum, Zadock Presho and Pliny Hannum, 
being a committee of proprietors, and the church property has never 
been under control of the conference. 

The society did not secure a parsonage until 1S57 when the origi- 
nal parsonage was deeded to the following trustees : Rufus Grout, 
David Newell, Lemuel C. Wedge, Horace Gray, Zadock Presho, Ansel 
A. Rankin and John Sisson, and as stated in the document, "for the 
benefit of such men as shall be employed by the Methodist Episcopal 
Church to preach in the west part of Pelham." The original house 
was used by the various Ministers sent by the conference until Aug. 
II, 1875 when the building was sold and a new one erected on the 
old location. 

In 1865 during the pastorate of Rev. John Cadwell the church was 
repaired, a pulpit after the more modern style built, and the vestry 
finished in the basement, with adjoining kitchen, added later. In 
i8gi while Rev. J. O. Dodge was pastor a new barn and sheds were 
added at the parsonage. In 1866 during the pastorate of Rev. O. 
W. Adams 70 persons united with the church, and in 1868 36 mem- 
bers took letters to the newly organized Methodist church at Amherst, 
and to other churches. 

The Ministers who have followed Rev. James O. Dean's pastorate 
in 1837 are as follows: Rev. Joseph W. Lewis for the year 1839 ; 
Rev. John Cadwell 1840 ; Rev. William P. White 1841 and '42 ; 
Rev. James O. Dean 1843 ^^^ '44 ; ^^v. Winsor Ward 1845 ^"<^ 4^ '■> 
Rev. Increase B. Bigelow 1847 and '48 ; Rev. William Bardwell 
1849 ; Rev. Judah Crosby 1850 and '51 . Rev. R. W. Wright 1852 
and '53 ; Rev. Franklin Fisk 1854 ; Rev. John Jones 1855 to '57 ; 
Rev. John W. Lee in 1858 and '59 ; Rev. J. L. Esty and Lorenzo 
Bosworth i860 ; Rev. L. A. 15ardwell iS6i ; Rev. Gilbert R. Bent 
1862 ; Rev. John H. Gaylord 1863 ; Rev. John Cadwell 1864 and 
'65 ; Rev. O. W. Adams 1866 and '67 ; Rev. John Noon 1868 and 
'69 ; Rev. George Hewes 1870 ; Kev. N. H. Martin 187 i and '72 ; 
Rev. W. H. Adams 1873 ; Rev. Nathan A. Soule 1874; Rev. Jona- 


than Neal 1S75 and '76 ; Rev. George E. Chapman 1877 and '78 ; 
Rev. John Noon 1879 and '80; Rev. Joseph Wood 1881 and '82 ; 
Rev. Lorenzo White 1883 ; Rev. E. P. Herrick 1884 ; Rev. Henry A. 
Jones 1885 and '86; Rev. F. S. Miller 1887 ; Rev. W. H. Dockham 
1888 ; Rev. E. H. Turnecliff 1889 ; Rev. W. P. Blackmer 1890. 

Mr. Blackmer did not accept the appointment and the society was 
supplied by students from Wilbraham part of the year and Rev. 
Isaac Yerkes came during the latter part of the year. 

Rev. J. O. Dodge 189 1 ; Rev. George Hudson 1892 and '93 ; 
Rev. Sherman Meracle 1894; Rev. Eaton B. Marshall 1895, '96, '97 ; 

During the first pastorate of Rev. John Cad well in 1840 the Meet- 
ing house was finished and dedicated; and the year was also notable 
as the year the camp-meeting of the Springfield District Conference 
was held in Pelham. The ground selected was perhaps a half mile 
from the new meeting house ; a grove on lands of Savannah Arnold 
and not far from Mr. Arnold's residence. There were great crowds 
in attendance during the whole week, and as none could come by 
railroad there were many horses to be cared for. Long processions 
of teams loaded with visitors came daily from Amherst and other 
towns. There were no hotels nearer than Amherst and no cottages 
on the camp grounds in those days, so that all visitors who spent 
the night slept in the tents, which were ranged in a circle around the 
grounds; the preachers stand being on the western edge of the circle, 
and within the circle of tents the seats for the audience were placed ; 
advantage being taken of the general slope of the camp ground to 
the west to give all a chance to see the preachers on the stand and 
to hear them more readily by having the preachers placed at the 
lowest point in the circle. 

Union Society at Packardville. 

The following are the names of those who signed the call for the 
organization of the Union Congregational Society Dec. 4, 1868. 

Albert Firman, Asahel B. Shaw, Horton B. Ward, 

Oren Sykes, David Randall, George W. Knight, 

Philander S. Knight, Ansel C. Shaw, A. A. Howard, 

Lorenzo W. Miller, George S. Calkins, Ziza A. Hanks. 

The meeting was held Jan. 4, 1869. 

2g2 history of pelham, mass. 

First Officers of the Union Society. 

Albert Firman, Clerk ; Ansel Shaw, Treasurer ; Lorenzo W. 
Miller, Auditor ; Prudential Committee, Albert Firman, Ziza A. 
Hanks, Philander S. Knight. 

"Voted that the prudential committee be empowered to appoint three 
disinterested persons to appraise the pews in the Meeting house and 
sign vouchers in behalf of the society for complying with the condi- 
tions required in asking aid from Congregational Union, and to 
make such repairs in and about the Meeting house as are judged 

The Society having completed its organization, found in 1869 that 
the old meeting house that had been in use by the Baptist society, 
which preceded them, was in a somewhat dilapidated condition and 
must be repaired or a new one built in its place. It was while 
repairs were in progress on the old Baptist meeting house that it 
caught fire and was burned. 

At a meeting March 26, 1869 a committee was chosen to estimate 
the cost of a suitable house of worship after having inspected churches 
and houses of worship in other places. Lorenzo W. Miller, Aretas 
J. Cadwell and Albert Firman were the committee, and after due 
consideration reported that a building 36 x 45 feet would be large 
enough for the needs of the society and the committee were instruc- 
ted to go forward and erect such a house as they thought for the 
best good of the people. The present church was built at a cost of 
about ^6,500 and was first occupied in 1870 for the funeral of David 

The society were without a settled pastor for several years, after 
the organization, the pulpit being supplied mostly by Professors of 
Amherst College or students from that institution. 

April 29, 187 I the society voted to join with the church in calling 
Rev. Wm. K. Vaille of Shutesbury to settle over the church and 
society, and it was further voted to pledge Mr. Vaille $450 as an 
annual salary — this sum to include the aid promised by the Mass. 
Home Missionary Society, which was $300 annually. 

Letters missive were sent to the following churches : First, Second, 
College, North, and South Congregational churches of Amherst, 
Congregational churches in Enfield, Belchertown, Granby, Green- 
wich, Pelham, Prescott, Shutesbury, Sunderland and South Hadley, 
and the Methodist Episcopal church at West Pelham. 


The council deciding it desirable to install the Rev. Mr. Vaille, the 
exercises were held June 28, 187 1, Prof. W. S. Tyler preaching the 
sermon. Rev. J- L- Jenkins being Moderator of the council and 
Rev. Payson \V. Lyman Scribe. There was a debt upon the society 
for the church building and the churches represented by the council 
voted to assume it if the church at the center of the town would 
accept Mr. Vaille as their pastor also, he holding services Sunday 
morning at Packardville and at the center in the afternoon. The 
church at the center finally accepted the proposition and Rev. Mr. 
Vaille continued to be pastor of the Union Society, preaching in the 
two churches until 1887 when he resigned his charge but continued 
to reside on his farm in the south part of the town until his death in 
1889. His death being caused by fatal burns received in trying to 
save his property when his house burned in May of that year. 

Since the resignation of Mr. Vaille the society has had no settled 
pastor, the pulpit having been supplied almost entirely by students 
from Amherst College, and among them who have officiated accept- 
ably to the present time are Erving Burnap, Amherst College, class of 
'88, one year ; E. N. Billings, class of 92, one year; Andrew H. 
Mulnix, class of '91, one year; J. A. Goodrich, class of '93, one 
year; Alfred Lockwood, class of '96, two years; J. Elmer Russell, 
class of '96, one year; L. B. Chase, class of '97. 


AND THE Church at Pelham. 

The settlement of Rev. Robert Abercrombie as the hrst minister of 
Pelham in 1744 has already been given from the records of the town; 
also some of the troubles and disagreements between pastor and 
people, beginning soon after his settlement and continuing for a 
good portion of the ten years of his pastorate, as we are led to 
believe, from the far from full a-nd clear information obtainable from 
the town records. 

That pastor and people, or a portion of the people of his charge 
were not in accord, is quite evident, but a careful reading of all the 
data on the town record books referring to the differences, fail to 
give us a clear and distinct idea of what it was all about. 

That the people were not prompt in the payment of the meagre 
salary is made plain by the records, but anyone after learning all 
that the records afford upon the failure of the people to pay Mr. 
Abercrombie's salary when due, will be forced to the conclusion that 
there were other causes of disagreement and contention of which the 
records do not give intelligent information, only hints of what may 
have been. 

The protest signed by a goodly number of the leading men among 
the proprietors or settlers, and probably members of the church, 
against the action which others, and probably the majority of the 
voters had taken, in extending a call to Mr. Abercrombie to settle in 
I 743. led to the formal or informal postponement of the business of set- 
tling the hrst minister for about a year. This gives reason for the 
belief that there was an anti-Abercrombie party before his settlement, 
but the basis of their objection and protest is not made plain. The 
protest was much feebler in 1744 than the year previous but it is 
possible that while those who protested over their names in 1743 
were many of them holding the same opinions and beliefs as to the 
expediency of settling Mr. Abercrombie ;— they had cooled down 
perhaps, but had not changed their minds materially on the question 
of settlement. 


2 95" 

On the other hand we must believe that Mr. Abercrombie had a 
strong following of the church members and voters with him, who 
were equally persistent in pushing forward the important business of 
settling a pastor, and were for settling Mr. Abercrombie. 

While we do not understand the reason or reasons why a portion^ 
of the voters of the town were opposed to settling Mr. Abercrombie, 
or on what grounds the majority urged and demanded that he should 
be settled ; it is quite easy to learn from these unfortunate condi- 
tions that the town and church was divided from the beginning, and 
consequently in a state of mind not conducive to harmony and 
mutual helpfulness so desirable in any community between pastor 
and people, and especially unfortunate in this newly settled colony 
where prosperity and happiness depended upon unity of action in 
all matters pretaining to church and town. 

The people composing these two factions, who disagreed about 
settling the first minister, were much alike in the possession of strong 
\vills, each party doubtless believed that it was worlsing for the best 
interests of the little settlement, and at the same time may have been 
at a loss to understand how the opposite faction could take the stand 
they did. 

Each individual Scotchman in the opposing factions had all the 
characteristic persistence of purpose common to that nationality, and 
consequently not much inclined to make concessions for the sake of 
harmony and unity; and might have been much more inclined to 
argue with strength and vehemence in sustaining his own indi- 
vidual position, and that of the faction to which he was joined. 

Rev. Robert Abercrombie, from all that can be learned of him, 
was a man in whom the Scotch characteristics of resolute persistence 
and determination were very marked. He was a descendent in an 
unbroken line of Abercronibies dating back to the twelfth century in 
Fifeshire, Scotland ; — was educated at the Edinburg university, 
where he had the reputation of being a profound scholar, familiar 
with Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Syriac ; and brought testimonials 
from the Presbytery of Edinburg and Kirkaleby, also recommendations 
from distinguished Scotch divines. A man of sound sense and 
ability, well equipped for his chosen profession ; a strict disciplina- 
rian, and possessed of a resolute purpose to demand rigid adherence to 
the doctrines and requirements of the Presbyterian church of Scotland. 
After landing at Boston in the autumn of 1740, as a licensed 


preacher, he preached among Presbyterians at Boston, Worcester 
.and other places, going about on horseback and in this work became 
acquainted with Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who went from Worces- 
ter to Pelham, before they had become fully established in their new 

The foregoing outline of the differences and disagreements between 
Mr. Abercrombie and the people of Pelham, and a proper considera- 
tion of the tenacious and unyielding character of pastor and people 
when they honestly believed themselves in the right, should help to 
a better and more charitable understanding of the facts as they 
appear on the records, as we review and study them more carefully. 

It was on May 11, 1742, that the people of Pelham -'Voted to 
intercede with Mr. Robert Abercrombie to be our Supplayer as far 
as he can for this summer." 

In 1743, May 26, Ephriam Cowan, Samuel Gray and Robert 
Piebles were chosen a committee " to invite three neighboring 
ordained ministers to keep a day of fasting and prayer with us and 
to consult with the same whome we shall call to be our minister." 
Although the time for holding this day of fasting and prayer was 
postponed from time to time, they being directed first " to desire the 
Ministers to attend on the last Thursday in June ;" and at a meeting 
June 21 the committee was directed to "'call it when they can have 
it with the best convenecy." We will assume that it was held though 
the date does not appear. Subsequent to this day of fasting and 
prayer a formal call was extended to Mr. Abercrombie to become 
their minister, but the date thereof does not seem to have been 
entered on the book. The next thing that attracts attention on the 
records is the protest already referred to. There are twenty-two 
names signed to the document, but as the name of James Gilmore 
appears twice there were only twenty-one protesting voters, — though 
it was possible one of the Gihnores was James, Jun., as there was 
such a man. 

The Protest. 

"Pelham, August 31. 1743. 
We ye Subscribers Being Freeholders & Inhabitants of said town Do 
protest against ye Proceedings of Part of ye inhabitants of y"" s'^ town in 
tlieir calling of y' liav. Robert Abercrombie to be their minister in s' town. 
Test y^' Subscribers, 

James Gilmore. William Fergerson, 


Samuel Fergerson, Adam Petterson, John Gilmore, Thomas Dick, James 
Thornton, James McCuUoch, Alexander McCuUoch, Hugh Gray, Robert 
King, William Thornton, John Stairling, James Gilmore, Robert Fergerson, 
John Fergerson, Robert McCuUoch, James Fergerson, James Uunlap, 
Thomas Petterson, George Petterson, John Dick." 

No reasons were given for this protest, — and it is impossible to 
determine by the document itself whether they disliked the idea of 
settling Mr. Abercrombie, or whether they were opposed to settling 
any minister at that time ; but the effect of the protest was the same 
as a formal order to halt, and all further action was abandoned until 
the next spring. 

A glance at the names appended to the protest shows conclusively 
that there was earnest opposition to the action of the town. Among 
the names are such prominent men as James Thornton, one of the 
two men who led off in purchasing the tract and organizing the 
settlement. John Fergerson, at whose house the first meeting of the 
proprietors in Pelham was held ; Thomas Dick and his brother John 
Dick were the men who built the meeting house, and both were 
important personages in the history of the settlement. Later on 
John Dick was town clerk thirty-five years in succession ; and there 
must have been others among the protesting faction whose influence 
in church and town affairs was an important factor. Taking the 
protest with names appended as a whole, it was of sufficient import- 
ance to cause delay ajid hesitation on the part of those most zealous 
for settling Mr. Abercrombie as pastor of the church at Pelham. 

The Ministers' Letter of Endorsement. 

" Whereas we ye Subscribers have had some considerable acciuaintance 
with Rev. Mr. Al^ercrombie, l^reacher of y"^^ Gospel, and what we know of 
his qualification by Information and personal acquaintance, we advise y*^ 
people of God in Pelham to Invite y'= s'^ Mr. Robert Abercrombie to settle 
in ye Work of y'' Ministrie among them as their Pastor— as Witness our 
hands this 30*'' of August 1743. 

Jonathan Edwards, David White, David McGregorie, David 
Parsons, Jux." 

The above recommendation by the ministers which is dated, Aug. 
30th, the day before the call was probably extended, — tends to sus- 
tain the belief that the formal call was made Aug. 31, and that the 
protest followed quickly, and was given the same date. 

.298 history of pelham, mass. 

Warrant for Town Meeting, March 5, 1743-4. 

The first article in the warrant for the town meeting, March 5, 
1743-4 was : 

"To see if tlie town will order their vote of August y" 31 1743 con- 
cerning Mr. Robert Abercrombie"* Call lo Stand thus there being read in 
the meeting a Call from ye Inhabitants of Pelham unto Mr. Robert Aber- 
crombie to be Minister in Said Place." 

The record of action on the above article is as follows : — " Ye 
meeting did Unanimously concur therewith and Voted upon his 
being Approved, Accepting of Said Call and Settling ^^'ith them 
he shall be Minister in said Town." 

(The date of the meeting, March 5, 1743-4 is really March 5.1744, 
because of the practice of beginning the business of the new year 
March 25 rather than on January first. All dates up to March 25 
were given as belonging to the year that ended with the previous 

Article 2. " To see if they will appoint a Committee to represent their 
Call unto & acquaint said Mr. Robert Abercrombie with their proposals 
and Receive His Answer." 

Article 3. " To act upon Every Perticular that may be found Necesery in 
■Consequence of His Answer to Compleat his settlement. 

Pelham, March y^' 5'" 1843-4. 

Robert Peibols, Alexander Coxkey, Johx Alexander, Johx Gray 
Selectmen of Pelham." , 

John Stinson was chosen moderator. '' It is Voted & Concorded 
with according as it is Mentioned in the \\'arrant. 

Voted that Alexander Conkey, Ephriam Cowan, Matthew Gray & 
Robert Peibols be a Committe to Present a Call to Mr. Robert Aber- 
crombie & Receive His answer tS: also this Meeting is adjourned for 
one Houre & a half to y" Meeting House to Receive y" Report of 
s'' Committee. 

Then Meet and also voted y' y ' Proposals of Mr. Robert Aber- 
crombie is Concord With By a Great Majority, — and also Voted that 
there be a Committee chosen to Complete y"" Work from time to 
time from this time to ordination. — Said Committee is George 
Cowan, John Stinson & Robert Peibols, — this meeting is adjourned 
to ye first tusday of April Nixt at ten of y" Clock in y'' forenoon at 
ye Meeting House of said Pelham. 

John Stinson, Moderator." 


" March y 5'" 1743-4- 
These May Certifie y' James Thornton his entered His Protest against 
y"-' above Meeting." 

Of the twenty-two men who the year previous recorded a formid- 
able protest against the action of " Part of ye inhabitants of the 
town," only James Thornton comes to the front in opposition to 
similar action at this time. 

Rev. Robert Abercrombie's Acceptance of the Call. 

" Pelham March y*^ 5th 1744. 
Messers : — You may Signiiie to your Constituents y' Having Considered 
ye Call from y"' Congregation Concured in by them togither With the Cir- 
cumstances of y" place I am at last Willing to Submit myself to be tried as 
to my fitness for such a Charge & Being found Qualified shall Consent to be 
Ordained & Indever in y<= Strength of Divine Grace to Exercise y'^' Minis- 
terial office among them as God shall enable me Provided y' in Place of 
what Proposals they have made for my Incouragement & Support they 
secure to me y*" land sett apart for ye first Settled Minister of this town w"' 
a yearly Sallery of 50 pounds Lawful Money to be paid at y^ present value 
of ye Bills of New tenor in case they should Depreciate upon ye Expiration 
of eight years if God pleases to continue us so long togither Consider of 
their ability & my Needsesity Require anything to be added thereto and act 
as they find cause or if they can propose anything Better for us both I should 
willingly Consent. 

I am &c. 

R. Abercrombie." 

The Ordination of the First Minister. 

The ordination of Robert Abercrombie took place on the 30th of 
August, 1744 and was a notable occasion for the newly incorporated 

"At a meeting adjourned from ye first Tuesday of July to the 30th 
day of July 1744 Then Meet on said Day and was nominated 
Mr. Jonathan Edwards, Mr. John Moorehead, Mr. David McGregorie, 
Mr. David Parsons, Mr. David White, Mr. Billings, Mr. John 
Graham to be invited to our Ordination ye time agreed upon is ye 
30th Day of August Nixt." 

Warrant for Town Meeting, August 28, 1744. 

" at 2 of ye Clock in ye afternoon then and thereto hear What their 
Committee appointed to see Mr. Abercrombie'*' Settlement Finished may 
have to Say before them & Act upon Whatsoever Particulars may be found 
Necery to Compleat y'' same & Make Everything Relative thereto Effectual 


and firm. Hereof fail Not & Make return of your Doings Sometime before 
said Meeting to one of us Subscribers as Witness our Hands & Seal this g"* 
Day of August 1744 and in y^' i8"> year of His Majesties Reights. 

Matthew Gray, Ephriam Cowan, George & John Stinson." 

There is no record of action under the above warrant. 

The Ordaining Council was composed of the following ministers 
and laymen : Rev. Jonathan Edwards, of Northampton ; Rev. John 
Moorhead, of Boston ; Rev. David McGregorie, of Londonderry, N. 
H.; Rev. David Parsons, Jun., of Amherst ; David White, Mr. Billings 
and John Graham. No residence of the last named members of 
council is given, but they probably did not live far from Pelham. 

Rev. Jonathan Edwards preached the sermon on this important 
occasion, and the great business of settling the first minister was 

Homelot No. 1 was turned over to Mr. Abercrombie, together with 
the second and third divisions of land that went with lot No. i. 

On Lot No. I, on the north side of the middle range road, the 
ministers' house was erected, and it was there that Mr. Abercrombie 
lived during his ten years pastorate, and there is no record to show 
that he did not continue to reside there until his death March 7, 1786. 

Li a warrant for a town meeting to be held on tiie 15th of April, 
1746, appears the following article : — 

"6'-'' to See What Method y*^^ town will take in Paying y" Rev. Mr. Robert 
Abercrombie his Sallery this Present year.'" 

Recorded action on this article follow: " Voted that y" Rev. Mr. 
Robert Abercrombie be paid this Present year's Sallery by Pole & 

There is nothing upon the records to indicate that there was any 
trouble between pastor and people for the first two years of Mr. 
Abercrombie's pastorate but the following copy of an order of the 
Court of Sessions shows that trouble had begun and the Court was 
appealed to by the pastor to settle some difficulty between them or 
compel payment of overdue salary. Just what the trouble was the 
brief court order does not inform us. 

" Robert Abercrombie of Pelham, Clerk, Complaint against the Town of 
Pelham, for &c. --Ordered that the Selectmen of s'^ Town be notified to 
appear at the next Court and make answer thereto to which for further con- 
sideration thereof is referred. 
Northampton, May 19, 1746, Court of Sessions." 

The following document copied the exact size of the original was 
addressed to the selectmen by the town treasurer, Jan. 13, 1746-7. 


" To The Select men of Pelham " 

^ii£e4^2fn ijli^^^ 5$^^.^c^ ^ 

4irr- 1^ -Leu y Tn^n^M/l ^ieix. 

<rrui. { M/^i 

The Warrant of March 1 1 for a town meeting, March 19, 1746-7 
contained the following articles : — 

"2'-'' To see if ye town Will Impovver the Committee that was chosen at 
y« Feb^ Meeting Meet y^ 9'^'' of Said Month 1746-7— and Impower them 
With all Necery Power to Wite to Imploy a Councler & a Retorney if in. 
Case the Rev. Air. Ebercrombie Suess ye town — 


3'y to See if y" town Will Except of the report that the Committee his to 
Lay Before y'^ town Concerning the Pepers that William Gray Hath and to 
see what ye town Will Do Concerning Said Peper — 

8'y To see what the town Will Do with y'^ Money that Lays in the treasur- 
er's Hands for Mr. Ebercrombie Hath Refused to take itt." 

Recorded action of the town under the warrant for meeting, March 
19, 1746-7 : 

" Voted that ye Committee that was chosen att ye Feb' Meeting 
ye Ninth One Thousand Seven Hundred & Fourty Six-Seven is 
Impowered to Imploy a Councler & Retorney if in Case y*" Rev. 
Mr. Ebercrombie Sue the Town. 

Voted that y*" Old Committee that was cliosen to Look over 
y^ Pepers is Impowered to go and Receive ysaid Pepers and Deliver 
them to ye Present Clerk. 

1 8'- Voted that James Conkey, treasurer, is to keep ye Money that 
is in his Hands till y" first of May unless y'' Rev. Mr. Ebercrombie 
Demand it from y'" aforesaid treasurer." 

Immediately following the record of action at the meeting, March 
19, 1746-7 there is a protest, and an agreement spread upon the 
records which are copied in full. 

The Protest. 

"We ye Subscribers Enter our Protest against ye Proceedings of Chusing 
a Committee to go to Law with ye Rev. Mr. Ebercrombie Relating to his 
Sallery as Witness our Hands this 19'" Day of March 1747. 

William Gray, Thomas Hamilton, John Stinson, John Savige, Matthew 
Gray, Thomas Lowden, John Gray, Robert Pebles, Thomas Cochran, John 
Hunter, Patrick Pebels, James Johnson.'" 

Rev. Mr. Aberbrombie's Agreement. 

" That for five years from my .Settlement l^e payed fifty pounds in Bills of 
the New Tenor as ye same is CoUicted that upon no part of it being Kept 
back Longer than demanded and the last of it Payed Yearly I promise to 
aCept of it as My Sallery for these years and discharge aCordingly. 
Pelham August i^' 1747. 

R. Abercrombie." 

Meeting, February 17, 1748-9. 

Two articles in the warrant : — 

"First to see if y*^ town Will Chuse a Committee To Send to y" Rev. Mr. 
Ebercrombie to See What Vote y'' town Hath voted against Mr. Eber- 
crombie that is Contrary to ye Law. 


>^>> ^^ 





2'y to see What the Town Will be willing to add to ye Rev. Mr. Robert 
Ebercrombies Sallery for this Present year." 

" Voted that there be Nothing acted on y'' first article of ye 

Voted that there be one Hundred Pound aCording to ye old tenor 
added to y" Rev. Mr. Ebercrombies Sallery for this Present year. 
WiLLiAiM Gray y"' 2'^ Moderator." 

Meeting, April 4, 1749. 

In the warrant for the meeting there were articles concerning the 
town debt and credit, — about the roads, — the schools. — and about 
building a bridge on the West Branch of Swift River and then, — 

•' 5'* to See if ye town Will Consider those votes that Injours Mr. Eber- 
erombie in his Character as he says — 

6'-'' to see if ye town Will Reconsider ye votes that is Contrary to ye town 
agreement With Mr. Ebercrombie as He says — 

7'y to See if ye town Will Chuse a Man or Men to Represent ye town at 
y'' Presbytrie if y*-" town and Mr. Ebercrombie Don't agree." 

" Voted there be nothing acted on ye fifth and sixth articles of ye 

Voted that Robert Maklem is to Represent the the town at the 
Presbytrie — 

George Cowan, Moderator." 

"We y'^ Subscribers Enter our Protest against ye vote of Not acting upon 
those votes Mentioned that is Grivioroos to Mr. Ebercrombie : — 

William Gray, Patrick Pebels, John Gray, John Edeger, Matthew Gray, 
John Stinson, Thos Hamilton, Thomas Cochran, John Hamilton, James 
Taylor, John Lucore. Thomas Lowden." 

The 5th and 6th articles which were not acted upon and thereby 
caused the above protest, were called up again in another warrant 
for a meeting Sept. 9, 1752 and the injurious votes were recalled. 

It is evident that the Presbytery had taken a hand in the trouble 
between Mr. Abercrombie and the people and were expected to 
make charges against the town at a session soon to be held at 
Pelham. In view of serious charges that might be made a town 
meeting was called on the 31st of May, 1749, to deliberate, and take 
such action as might be thought proper. There was but one article 
in the warrant. 

Meeting, May 31, 1749. 

Warrant. — "To see if the town Will think it Proper to Chuse a Man or 
Men to answer the Presbytrie in behalf of the town. 


Voted that John Savige, Ephriam Cowan, Thomas Dick, James 
McConel, Robert Maklem, John Clark & John Johnson be a com- 
mittee for to answer at y" Presbytrie in Behalf of said town. 

Thomas Dick, Moderator." 

Warrant f(jr Meeting, April 30, 1751. 

In the warrant for a town meeting on the above date this article is 
found : 

6'-* to see if the town Will be Willing to send a man to the Presbytrie with 
a pition to Have them Meet here in Respect to our Deficualty Espacly 
Baptism to Chirdling." 

Infant Baptisim was a subject over which there was radical disa- 
greement between pastor and people and the article in the warrant 
indicates that the question of submitting the matter to the Presbytery 
had been considered and the town was called upon to decide whether 
they would send a man to ask the Presbytery to hold a session with 
them in regard to the existing troubles and especially the important 
question of Infant Baptism. What action was taken by the town 
when assembled cannot be learned from the record as no mention of 
action on the 6th article appears. 

Meeting, January 8, 1750-51. 

The warrant for this meeting contained five articles or "particu- 
lars " as follows : — 

" First to see if town Will Continue Mr. Kbercrombie"s Sallery as it Was 
last year. 

2''' to see if ye town Will Chuse a Committee to Prosecute Jolin Stinson 
at ye Law for afals Record that he Give to y^' Clerk.— Att y* request of y' 
Rev'' Mr. Robert Ebercrombie y- following articles is Inserted. 

3'-^ to see if ye town will Contirm and fultill their agreement W'ith Mr. 

4'' to see if ye town will Confirm Mr. Ebercrombie's Proposals upon which 
he Settled witli them, or oppose Him in ye Law Provided he apply to y* 
Civil Authority to Settle this matter and fix his Sallery. 

5'^ to see if ye town will chuse a Committee to Withstand Mr. Eber- 
crombie in ye Law Provided he apply to the same." 

Action of the meeting on the above warrant follows: "Att a 

Meeting of ye freeholders & other Inhabitants of ye town of Pelham 

Legally Assembled on tuesday, tiie Eighth Day of January, 1750-51. 

Then Meet on Said Day and then was chosen Thomas Dick, 



First voted to Confirm & fulfill their agreement with Mr. Eber- 
crombie aCording to His Proposals upon which he Settled With 

2'^' Voted that Mr. Ebercrombie's Sallery be Continued as it Was 
last year. 

3'^' past Negitivly that there be no Committee Chosen to Prosecute 
John Stinson at ye Law." 

"We ye Subscribers Enter our Protest against ye Vote of Mr. Eber- 
crombie's Proposals Being Confirmed & fulfilled. 

James Conkey, Ephriam Cowan, George Cowan, John Blair, John Clark, 
James McConel, David Thomas, Alexander Turner, James McColIoch, 
Robert Loutheridge, William Gray y" 3"^, John Johnson, James Johnson, 
James Gilmore, Jun." 

The town record contains no account of the council or Presbytery 
that suspended or dismissed Mr. Abercrombie, but certain records 
indicate that the pastoral relation had been severed and that the 
Presbytery had appointed certain preachers who were to act as sup- 
plies for the church at Pelham, and in this connection we copy the 
warrant for a town meeting, Nov. 29, 1754 and the action of the 
voters on the several articles. 

Warrant for Meeting, Nov. 29, 1754. 

"2'-'' To see if the town Will allowe the Selectmen to keep the Meeting- 
house for ye Supplies ordered by the Presbytrie or Chuse others in there 

3'->' To see Who y"^' town will order to Entertain the Ministers that is 
ordered to supply untill y'^' Nixt Presbytrie.'' 

"2'- Voted that the Selectmen Keep the Meeting house for the 
Supplies that the Presbytrie ordered. 

3'-' Voted that the Selectmen Provide for the Entertainment of 
the Ministers that is ordered By the Presbytrie to supply. 

William Crosett, Moderator." 

"We ye Subscribers Inhabitons of Pelham Protest Against the Second 
and third Vots Past in atown Meeting in Said Pelham y^' twenty Ninth of 
Novb' one thousand Seven Hundred & fifty-four. 

Thomas Dick, John Hamilton, William Petteson, Thomas McMulIen, 
John Stinson, James Sloan, James Taylor, Joseph Rinken, Thomas Cochran." 

Judging from the nature of the " Second and Third " votes passed 
at the meeting of Nov. 29, which is the basis of the protest, we come 
to the conclusion that the men who signed the document were feel- 


ing very unpleasantly over the suspension of Rev. Mr. Abercrombie 
by the Presbytery and were not in a state of mind to accept of the 
ministers the Presbytery in their good judgment had selected to 
supply the Pelham pulpit. They probably cast their votes against 
allowing the meeting house to be opened for these ministers to 
preach in, and also against providing for their entertainment. 

To aid in a better understanding of the articles in the foregoing 
warrant and the action thereon by the town, it can be said that the 
Rev. Mr. Abercrombie had been charged by the Presbytery with 
having acted contrary to Presbyterian principle and rules governing 
the church and Mr. Abercrombie had been suspended from the exer- 
cise of the duties of his pastorate, while under this order of suspen- 
sion. At the same meeting of the Presbytery " Supplies for the 
Pelham pulpit were appointed, "" and an order was directed to the 
selectmen to shut the doors of the meeting house against Mr. Aber- 
crombie, and only allow preaching by those the Presbytery should 

The Selectmen recognizing the Presbytery as authority shut the 
doors of the meeting house against Mr. Abercrombie as directed. 
Then came the warrant for the town meeting, Nov. 29, 1754, and 
the action of the town was as above recorded. 

The first " Supply " or minister that came was Rev. Mr. McDowel 
and the reception he met with we quote from Mr. Abercrombie's 
account of it. " Mr. McDowel called at my house ; He introduced 
himself with large Protestations of his aversion to come ; He asked 
if I would willingly resign the pulpit to him ? I absolutely refused : 
and told him I should look upon it as an unw.uTantable Intrusion if 
he took it. I invited him to lodge at my house, which he refused. — 
He went off and immediately concluded with the Selectmen not to 
take the meeting house upon the Sabbath but upon the Monday ; 
which he accordingly did : The Selectmen keeping the doors shut 
until he came : and they, with one or two of the elders hurrying him 
into the pulpit, — while the Selectmen forcibly kept me from entering 
the same: where in a \\\o?A. precipitant manner he began his service." 
Rev. Mr. Burns was the next supply, he was followed by Rev. 
Mr. McClintock. The troubles which led to the suspension of Mr, 
Abercrombie will be gone into more fully later on, but it maybe well 
to say now that it was as early as 1753 that the controversy 
with the Presbytery began and after he had expressed a desire to be 


dismissed from the pastorate at Pelham, and the Presbytery had 
dechned to comply with his request. 

Meeting, Jan. 14, 1756. 

The warrant for this meeting had but two articles or "Particulars." 

" First To see if the town Will Chuse a Committee to Defend the Com- 
plant That Mr. Abercrombie His Laid In Against the town for His Sallery. 

2'^- to See What Method the town Will take to Get the Minitsof the Pres- 
bytrie that Will be Needed. 

Acting on the first article the town ''Voted that there be a Com- 
mittee Chosen in Behalf of the town to Attend the Court at North- 
ampton. Said Committee is John Savige & Allexander Turner. 

2'=' Voted that John Blair is to Get the Minits of the Presbytrie. 

3'^ Voted that William Gray is to assist the Present Clerk to Put 
the Minits on the town Book that William Gray Minited. 

WiLLiAiM Gray, Moderator. 

From the court records at Northampton : 

" Robert Abercrombie Complaint against the town of Pelham in y- County 
of Hampshire for not paying him his salary as per Complaint on file. The 
parties appeared and y" Courts having considered the Complaints and y^ 
parties pleas. It's considered that y'-* Complaints be dismissed and y'^ said 
Town Recover against y'- said Abercrombie 12 — 3 lawful money allowed 
them for Costs. 
Court set the second Tuesday of February 1756." 

Rev. Mr. Abercrombie, having lost one suit against the town in 
February, 1756 for overdue salary very soon brought another, and 
in March of the same year Alexander Turner was chosen to answer 
the complaint in behalf of the town. The case dragged along year 
after year and Turner and others, including John Savige, were chosen 
to represent the town until it finally came to trial at Northampton in 
1759, and the court records that follow are interesting : 

•• Robert Abercrombie vs. the Town of PelhAiM. 

Robert Abercrombie of Pelham in the County of Hampshire, Clerk 
Plaintiff or the Inhabitants of the town of Pelham in said County Defend- 
ants in a Plea of Trespass on the Case wherein said Abercrombie demands 
against the said Inhabitants of Said Town the sum of One Hundred & 
Seventy seven Pounds Sixteen shiUings lawful Money being y'= arreas of the 
salery due him from s'^ town as their Minister &c as is at large set forth in 
the writ on file. — The Pardes in this Case appear Viz : the said Robert 
personally and the said Town by Alexander Turner their Agent and attorney, 
and enter into a Rule of Court to refer this Case and also to submit all Con- 
tracts Actions disputes controversies and Demands respecting any per- 


sonal Matters now subsisting between them. The Plaintiff chose Oliver 

Partridge of Hatfield Esq. The Defendants chose Thomas of 

Deerfield Esq, and the Court appointed Timothy Woodbridge Esq of 
Stockbridge who are to hear the Parties, consider the Case and all personal 
matters submitted to them, and make report to the next Court wliose 
Determination or any two of them is to be final, and the Action is Continued 
in the Meantime. 
February 13, 1759." 


Robert Abercrombie of Pelham in the County of Hampshire Clerk Pltf 
or The Inhabitants of the Town of Pelham aforesaid Defendants in a Plea 
of Trespass on the Case for that the Inhabitants of said Pelham having 
invited and Called the Plaintiff to be their Settled and ordained Minister he 
on the s"" of March 1743 at Pelham afore said by his Answer in Writing to 
the said Inhabitants qualified by Law to vote in the choice of a Minister 
these legally met in Town Meeting accepted their Invitation & Call afore- 
said and the said Inhabitants of said Pelham promised and obligated them- 
selves and successors Inhabitants of said Pelham that in Case he the said 
Abercrombie would settle and be ordained their Minister to pay him the 
annual salery of fifty Pounds to be fixed at the then Value of Bills of 
the New Tenor in Case of Depreciation for every year after his settling so 
long as he should continue their Minister and further comply with and per- 
form all the other Terms and Conditions by him required in his Answer 
aforesaid and that in pursuance of the Call & Choice made of him said 
Robert by and with the advice of three Neighboring Ministers he on the 
29*'' day of August 1744 at Said Pelham was duly ordained Minister and 
Pastor of the same Town & the Church to be gathered therein, and that he 
is and then was a person qualified as the Law requires for the Ministerial 
ofiice and has ever since continued their settled Minister and Pastor and 
during the whole time performed and discharged the proper functions of 
his office and Trust aforesaid and on the 9"' of September last four of said 
annual Sums or yearly Salery at the rate aforesaid for years then Compleat 
being of the value of Forty four Pounds nine shillings lawful money for each 
year became due and arrear being in the Whole one hundred & Seventy 
seven Pounds Sixteen shillings, yet the Defendants tho often requested 
have not paid the same nor any part thereof but neglect and refuse to pay 
it to the Damage of the Plaintiff two hundred Pounds all which is more 
largely set forth in the Plaintiffs writ on File. This Case was originally 
commenced at the Inferior Court of Common Pleas held at Northampton 
on the 2"^ Tuesday of February last when and where the Parties entered into 
a rule of Court to refer to the Case with all Contracts Actions Disputes 
Controversaies and Demands respecting any personal Matters subsisting 
between them as per Records of s'^ Court appears. And now the Referees 
to whom the Case &c was referred Report that they met at Pelham where 
the Pltf" & y*^ Dfts by their Agent were present who agreed to refer to their 
Consideration the Matters Contained in the Writ only and that after a full 


hearing of the Parties tliereon they adjudge and determine that the said 
Robert shall recover of the said Inhabitants of said Pelham thirty Pounds, 
one shilling and Eight Pence & Cost of Court together with the Cost of 
this Reference and the Cost of the Referees. 

It is therefore Considered by the Court that the Pltf shall recover against 
the Defts the sum of thirty Pounds one shilling and Eight pence lawful 
Money Damages and Cost of Court with the Cost of the Referees as per 
Bill allowed at Nine Pounds Eleven Shillings and Eight Pence. 
Execution issued 6 July 1759." 

The receipts or discharges which Mr. Abercrombie gave when 
money was paid him on his salary has his peculiar autograph and 
hand writing. Space is allowed for one of them. 

Now that the long drawn out lawsuit against the town which Mr. 
Abercrombie had been pushing since his dismission had been settled 
it would seem but a natural result of such long continued litigation 
that the people of the town would feel incensed, and perhaps a revenge- 
ful spirit developed which would seek an opportunity to get even 
with their former pastor should a favorable opportunity present itself. 
But the people did not seem to be affected that way, or to lose respect 
for him in the least, so far as we may judge by recorded action. An 
opportunity to display revengeful feeling toward Mr. Abercrombie, 
if any such feeling existed, came very soon. 

In the warrant for a town meeting Oct. 2d. 1760, was the follow- 
ing article. 

" To see if the town Will agree to Petition the General Court to Have all 
the unlniproven Land taxed for two years at one penny per acer to finish 
the Meetinghouse and Charges arising on the town except what Land Mr. 
Abercrombie owns." 

Recorded action upon the above article : 

"Voted that they Prefer a Pettion to the General Court to Have 
all the unlmproven Land taxed for two year at one Penny pr acer 
Except what Land Mr. Abercrombie owns. 

Thomas Dick, Moderator." 

At this distance we cannot understand why Mr. Abercrombie 
should be exempt from taxation on such lands as he owned that it 
was proposed to tax, and can conceive of no reason for making an 
exception in his favor unless it was because of the great esteem in 
which he was held by the people of the town, who, remembering his 
services as their minister for ten years were still desirous of showing 
their great regard for him when a fitting opportunity presented itself. 
Whether the recorded vote was unanimous does not appear, but 


there is no recorded protest against the action taken, and yet the 
people were not haking or backward in recording a protest against 
anything that it was possible to protest against. They seemed at 
times to be watching for an opportunity to record a protest. 

In a warrant for a town meeting Dec. 2, 1763, article 4 reads as 
follows : 

" Fourtlily To see if the town will agree to free Mr. Abercrombie's Party 
from paying their respective Proportion of Mr. Oaham's Settlement & 
yearly Sallery and Consent that they and all such as Joyn with them in this 
requist may be allowed to Pay there several Proportions of Yearly Sallery 
to Mr. Abercrombie.'" 

On this article the recorded action was, — " Voted that there is 
nothing acted on the Fourth article of this warrant." 

This action of the town was the cause of the Abercrombie party 
taking their case to the General Court, and the town was obliged to 
take notice of a citation which had been served upon the town of 
the petition which had been filed at Boston, giving the town oppor- 
tunity to oppose its being granted. 

The persistence of Mr. Abercrombie's friends in clinging to him 
is shown by their action in petitioning the General Court, and by an 
article in a warrant for town meeting, Jan. 16, 1764, ten years after 
he had been dismissed and denied the right or privilege of preaching 
at Pelham. 

"Articles. Whereas there has been a petition lodged in the General 
Court of this Province by a Number of Petitioners Belonging to this town 
to Wite :— 

Some adherents to Mr. Abercrombie and others to the Intent that they 
may be freed from Paying any Settlement or Sallery to Mr. Graham. 

That the town chuse a Man or Men to represent their case and make 
answer to the General Court in their Nixt Sessions, to said Petition accord- 
ing to the Citation we have Received from said Court." 

Hugh Johnston. Isaac Gray, George Cowan, John Savige and 
William Crosett were chosen a committee to answer the said petition. 
The General Court could not grant such an unreasonable request 
and they failed in their purpose to pay their assessments for the 
support of the Gospel to Mr. Abercrombie rather than to i\Ir. 

After Mr. Abercrombie's dismissal from the church at Pelham 
there is little of record on the town books to show that he took a 
very active part in town affairs or that he preached any more to his- 


former people. He lived on his farm in a quiet manner, preaching 
occasionally in other towns , there is a record of his preaching on 
one occasion at Amherst, and he probably preached in other places 
near by and may have supplied more distant churches. 

At a Town Meeting, June 21, 1774, 

The following vote was passed : " Voted that the Rev. Mr. Aber- 
crombie is cleared from all his Rats that is already assessed on him, 
— also voted that Mr. Abercrombie is cleared from Paying any Rats 
for the future. Thomas Cochran, Moderator." 

The above vote covers all the record of action at the meeting, and 
exhibits the kindly and generous feeling of the town toward their 
former pastor. 

At a Town Meeting, April 16, 1779, 

. " Rev. Robert Abercrombie was chosen a committee to meet other 
committees at Northampton at a County Convention to Consider 
the question of a Constitution for the state." And at a meeting, 
March 23, 1780 it was "Voted that Mr. Abercrombie is allowed nine 
pounds for time and expenses for going to Northampton in behalf of 
the town."' 

This is believed to be the first and only occasion that Mr. Aber- 
crombie was called to serve the people of Pelham in any Public 
capacity after being released from his pastorate. 

At a meeting of the town Jan. 9, 1782, near the close of the Revo- 
lutionary war and eight years after the action of the town in June, 
1774 clearing Mr. Abercrombie from taxes already assessed, and 
also relieving him from paying any in future, there was an article in 
the warrant to see if the town would reconsider the vote of June 21, 
1774 and it was voted to reconsider it. Whatever the reasons were 
that led the people to exempt Mr. Abercrombie from taxation during 
all the years of the war we may not be able to determine, but it indi- 
cates that the people over whom he had been settled thirty years 
before the vote of June 21, 1774 was passed, and who had been dis- 
missed twenty years when the exemption was' extended, still retained 
so kindly an interest in his welfare as to be willing to exempt him 
from taxation when all the people had been so sorely pressed to meet 
the expenses of the struggle for liberty. 


After Mr. Abercrombie retired from active labor in the ministry 
he seems to have spent his life in tilling his lands and in the care of 
his family of eight sons and three daughters. 

Rev. Robert Abekcroimbie and the Presbvjery. 

In the year 1755, in letters to a friend, Rev. Robert Abercrombie 
gave an account of the proceedings of the Presbytery against him. 
In the same letters he criticizes their action and questions their 
authority to act as they did in the premises. The action of the 
Presbytery caused Mr. Abercrombie's suspension from the exercise 
of his functions as a minister, and later his dismission from the 
pastorate at Pelham. 

Mr. Abercrombie claimed that the first springs of differences between 
him and the Presbytery arose from the fact that he could not comply 
with all the measures of the Presbytery ; — that he could not in 
faithfulness to his own convictions do so, and consequently desired 
the Presbytery to dismiss him from the pastorate of the church in 
Pelham on the 15th of June, 1748, but his request was declined at 
that time and his differences with the Presbytery increased. 

We gather from the printed letters to a friend, that certain mem- 
bers of the church at Pelham were not such as should be admitted 
to the sealing ordinances of the church, as in the judgment of Mr. 
Abercrombie, it would be contrary to scripture and to Presbyterian 
principles. There seems to have been an inclination on the part of 
some to be more liberal in belief than a strict disciplinarian could 
allow, and until such members had purged themselves from such sins 
Mr. Abercrombie felt it his duty to withhold the ordinance of baptism 
from the children of such members. With this condition of affairs and 
while his application for dismissal was pending, the " Presbytery 
proceeded to ordain Rev. Mr. Moorehead. Either now or on his 
return from Colrain to use the assistance of the Session of Pelham 
•(in case Mr. Abercrombie declines it) in inquiring into the Christian 
•conversation of those in Pelham who have children to baptize ; and to 
baptize them whom he finds upon enquiring to have the Right to that 

Mr. Abercrombie having been suspended from his duties this 
■action on the part of the Presbytery and of Mr. Moorhead in allow- 
ing the children of unfit parents to have the benefit of the ordinance 
of baptism, and without giving him (Mr. Abercrombie) sufficient time 


for consideration before Mr. Moorhead acted in the matter, was dis- 
pleasing to Mr. Abercrombie and he gave in a paper to the Presby- 
tery in which he made a representation or criticism of the conduct of 
that body. The document is long and able. The Presbytery met at 
Palmer, Mass., Nov. 14, 1753, and the document was received by 
that body there. The opening paragraph was as follows: 

" That whereas, next to the purity of Doctrine, which belongs to the 
Principles, a Dicipline agreeable to the word of God, which may regulate 
the Practice of the Members, is necessary to the Well-being of every 
Christian Society ; the first of these the Presbytery seem to have taken 
some care of, by requiring every Probationer, under their care, to subscribe 
to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms: But I apprehend, 
we are still defective in the last: and therefore I would now represent some 
things to the Presbytery concerning our past Conduct and what I apprehend 
to be our present Duty." 

The representation embraced four points or heads, and under the 
first head he claimed that the Presbytery should bring all under such 
regulations that discipline might be exercised upon offenders, and 
such kept back from sealing ordinances until proper satisfaction be 
given, and ordinances only administered to such as are found 
worthy. Mr. Abercrombie claimed that the admission of untit per- 
sons to sealing ordinances had, he feared, already been productive of 
many scandals and offences; and had "given to just ground of com- 
plaint, to those who complain of our being too inclinable to favour a 
lax admission to sealing ordinances etc." 

Under the second head he argued that it was necessary for the 

Presbytery to reconsider their sentence in the affair of P and 

again take it into consideration ; in other words, to review their find- 
ings in the case, at the same time declaring that the sentence (of 
suspension) did not stand upon sufficient grounds. 

Part third of the paper is an argument for reconsideration of their 
determination in the affairs of Pelham, on the ground that the Pres- 
bytery " had no right at that time to meddle in the affair of baptizing 
the children of that congregation. — No reference was made to them, 
— no complaint entered, and no time nor indeed opportunity was 
given to answer upon that head." Mr. Abercrombie also claimed 
that his being excluded from the deliberations of the Presbytery was 
what they had no right to do. " That they had no right to appoint 
one to moderate in the session, and baptize the children in case he 


declined; and that their conduct in that point was both irregular and 
without precedent." Again we quote : 

" What ignorant, what profane, what scandalous people will pay the least 
regard to their own Ministers, who know their conduct and would bring 
them to censure, when they can find those who will readily administer ordi- 
nances to them upon easier terms?" 

Further : " It is well known to any who are in the least acquainted with 
the Presbyterian Constitution that where the Case of a Minister is to be 
tried, there are at least to be three Ministers present: Whereas, in the 
present case there were only two'' 

In the fourth and last division of the paper. Mr. Abercrombie calls 
attention to the rules and principles of the Reformed Church of Scot- 
land in relation to procedure : " which declare that the Constitu- 
tions, so far as agreeable to the Word of God, is the rule of proceed- 
ure in our judicatories." 

He then calls attention to the danger to the church that might be 
expected from the endless disputes and protestations, " to the dis- 
honor of religion, and hurt, if not the utter ruin, of this society at the 
last," and closes with the following appeal : 

" I hope therefore, the Reverend Presbytery will take these things into 
serious Consideration, and do what may be for the Glory of God and the 
edification of those under our care. Which is the earnest desire of your 
Brother in the Work of the Gospel. R. Abercromi5IE. 

Palmer, Nov. 14, 1753." 

At the next meeting of the Presbytery the " Representation " sub- 
mitted by Mr. Abercrombie was considered and the following minute 
concerning it recorded. 

" The Presbytery finding among their papers a long Representation put 
in by the Rev. Mr. Abercrombie at their last session and left by the said 
Session to the Consideration of lliis. in which are several things which at 
present appear Matters of high Charge Against the Presbytery. \'oted 
unanimously, that as the author of said paper is absent, in order that no 
advantage may be taken of his Absense, the Consideration of said paper 
shall be left till next session, when the Author is expected to be pre.sent, and 
to make good those things that are Matters of Charge, either against the 
Presbytery, or any particular Member of it ; and he is seasonably to be 
served with a copy of this Minute. Samuel McClintock, Scribe. 

A true copy attest." 

The position taken by the Presbytery that the " Representation " 
brought serious charges against the Presbytery and that the author 
must appear before that body and make good what they construed as 
grave charges against the body itself or individuals composing it, and 



that he was called upon to appear and be tried before them, — they, 
whom he was charged with making accusations against, to be judges, 
— was in Mr. Abercrombie's opinion, contrary to the principles of 
the Presbyterian body and in disregard of the rules governing the 
Presbytery. In other words if the Presbytery was the party accused 
it was contrary to all precedent that the accused should hear the case 
and render decision. 

The first session after the " Representation " was received, was 
held at Boston, Mr. Abercrombie not being able to attend. The 
session following was at Newberry. At this session Mr. Abercrom- 
bie was appointed to preach Mr. Boyd's ordination sermon at Green- 
wich but before the time, received a message from Rev. Mr. Moor- 
head forbidding him to do so. 

At the next session, as Mr. Abercrombie claims, the Presbytery 
made repeated requests to have him withdraw the offensive " Repre- 
sentation." These requests were declined, and being called upon to 
support the " Representation," he respectfully declined to do so, 
because he was not to be heard as a representer, but as an accuser, 
and the accused were to be his judges. 

Mr. Abercrombie then submitted a proposition to refer the case to 
the General Assembly of the church of Scotland, or to a number of 
Congregational ministers to be mutually chosen. These proposi- 
tions were declined by the Presbytery. 

At this session Mr. McGregorie read a long paper covering the 
whole case exhaustively, — declaring that the papers of Mr. Aber- 
crombie contained 

"**diverse insinuations and reflections, also sundry more direct asser- 
tions against this judicatory, and declined their authority. * * * Upon the 
whole the Presbytery judge that the said Mr. Abercrombie is guilty of insin- 
uating things against the Presbytery false and groundless, and that he ought 
to be solemnly admonished and rebuked for his sin against God and the 
church, and exhorted to walk with more circumspection in future. 

That if he submits to said rebuke, he will be esteemed in his former 
standing, with this Judicatory; but if not he is suspended from the exercise 
of his Ministerial office four weeks from this time. 

Mr. Abercrombie being called upon and refusing to submit to the rebuke 
the Moderator in the Name of the Presbytery proceeded to suspend him 
from the exercise of the Ministerial office, according to the foregoing vote. 

From the Minutes of the Session at Newbury August 20"' 1754. 

Per Samuel McClintock, Scribe." 


A few days later a man was sent to the Pelham people, and read 
to them the minutes of the Presbytery, and by an order from that 
body " discharged all from hearing Mr. Abercrombie." 

The suspension for four weeks was on August 20, 1754, and Mr. 
Abercrombie was continued under suspension until the meeting of 
the Presbytery in Pelham on April 15, 1755. At the session of the 
Presbytery in Pelham April 15, 1755 ^^- Abercrombie submitted 
another document, addressed as follows : 

" Unto the Gentlemen calling themselves the Presbytery to meet at Pel- 
ham April the 15"' 1755." 

In this paper as in the first he plead with them to receive the dis- 
cipline of the Church of Scotland in her purest times, and to practice 
in such a manner that immoral and illiterate persons may not be 
admitted into the sacred office of the ministry, and those unworthy 
among the people may be kept back from sealing ordinances. He 
declined to accept them as worthy to decide in his case because to 
quote his words : " by your former conduct you have unqualified 
yourselves to sit in judgement upon any case wherein I am con- 
cerned. * * and I absolutely refuse to submit to your judgement." 

The closing paragraph of the paper follows : 

" I appeal from you as Judges, unto the first free and impartial Synod 
Assembly or Council, to whom I may in Providence have access to apply, 
and who will redress those injuries you have done me. And finally, if the 
all wise Jehovah, in his adorable Providence see meet so to dispose of 
matters that such Synod, Assembly or Council cannot be obtained in Time, 
I appeal from your unrighteous Judgment, unto the Righteous Judge of all 
the Earth, to whom I desire to commit my cause, before whose awful bar 
you and I must ere long appear to answer for our conduct, stand an 
impartial trial, and receive the final sentence, from which there is no appeal. 
P2ven so. Come Lord Jesus. Amen. R. Abercrombie. 

Pelham, April 15, 1755. 

At this meeting of the Presbytery the people of Pelham submitted 
a paper to that body desiring light upon the matter of suspension of 
their pastor and expressing doubt as to the legality of the proceed- 
ings, and setting forth at length their reason for so believing, and 
closing with a desire that the Presbytery give answer in writing. The 
answer of the Moderator was that they had joined with a man the 
Presbytery had laid under suspension, and that going to hear him 
was against the wishes of the Presbytery, consequently the Presbytery 
had no more to do with them. 


At a meeting or session of the Presbytery at Boston, May 14, 
1755, they reported that they had proven many of the charges against 
Mr. Abercrombie, although he was absent and declared : 

* * " that his usefulness at Pelham was at an end. Therefore the Presby- 
tery by their vote dissolve the particular relation between said Mr. Robert 
Abercrombie and the Church and Congregation at Pelham : — and they do 
hereby in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the great head of the Church, 
and by virtue of the authority committed by him to them, actually disolve the 
reladon of Pastor and people : between the said Mr. Robert Abercrombie 
and the Chnrch and Congregation of Pelham ; prohibite and discharge him 
to exercise the office of the holy ministry or any part thereof in said Pelham, 
under the pain of the highest censure of the church: and furder; seeing 
Mr. Robert Abercrombie has rejected all proposals, made to him; by the 
Presbytery for an accomodation, and refuses to retract from or make satis- 
faction for the false and injurious things insinuated: we do in the same 
name suspend the said Mr. Abercrombie from the Exercise of the Ministry 
and every part of it until the next session of the Presbytery, or such time as 
he shall be orderly restored therefrom: under the pain of Deposition. 
J. MOORHEAD, Mod'r. 
.Signed per order Samuel McClintock. Clerk. 
Boston, May 14'''' 1755." 

In criticism of the decision of the Presbytery at its session at Pel- 
ham on the 15th of April 1755, Mr. Abercrombie remarks to his 
friend : 

" I am threatened with the highest Censure of the Church, if I exercise 
any part of the Ministry in Pelham. I should be glad to know, whence it 
comes to be thought so highly censurable and criminal for me to exercise 
my Ministry in Pelham, more than in any other place. But not having the 
papers, upon which, it may be supposed, this sentence is founded, I cannot 
give you that light concerning it, which I would desire. I shall only say 
this Method, that the Presbytery have taken to condemn a man, without 
letting him or the world know for what, 1 look upon as mean unreasonable 
and injurious. While a man is thereby deprived of an opportunity to clear 
up the truth, to vindicate himself, the world are left in the dark, yea, are 
necessarily left to think it must be some gross immorality, some heinous 
crime for which he is so severely treated, and has such awful threatenings 
denounced against him. 

When the case was examined at Pelham none but Messers Moorhead, 
McGregorie, McDowel and Burns with their Elders were present. — It is 
customary to change the Elders every meeting: and at this, Mr. McUowel 
and Elder were absent. Messrs Parsons and Boyd, with their Elders, now 
present, had 7iever heard the case examiiied\ nor those Elders who were 
not at Pelham. Mr. Moorhead was continued Moderator. So that of ten 
members who were to judge, seven had not heard the case examined. In. 


short, if they gave ^ny judgment it must not be thought to result from their 
own knowledge, upon having heard the case and enquired into the affair ; 
but grounded upon the testimony of Messrs Moorhead, McGregorie and 
and Burns, and if so, I can't see why these th?-ee could not have done the 
business alone; unless the others wanted to give their followers an exa?nple 
of practicing upon the principles of implicit faith, and convince them that 
they required of other men no more than they themselves were willing to 
do. 'Tis plain there was not a majority of the Presbytery to act upon the 
affair. And so according to Presbyterian Principles, their sentence is of no 
force and claims no regard. R. Akercrombie. 

Pelham, May 30, 1755." 

It has been claimed that certain members of the church and soci- 
ety at Pelham appeared before the Presbytery and preferred com- 
plaints against their pastor. This was doubtless true, as there were 
people in Pelham who protested against the action of the town in 
calling Mr. Abercrombie at first, and may have carried their opposi- 
tion along until another good opportunity came to express it publicly. 
In more recent times it is seldom that there cannot be found a small 
minority in any church or parish that do not like the settled minis- 
ter whoever he may be. If one minister is dismissed and another 
settled, the same chronic grumblers and fault-finders begin their 
opposition to the new minister where they left off with the old. Not- 
withstanding the fact of personal opposition to Mr. Abercrombie in 
Pelham, there is also indisputable evidence that he had a strong fol- 
lowing among them through his entire ministry, and during his life 
until his death. 

Whatever the cause or causes of the trouble betw-een the Rev. Mr. 
Abercrombie and the Presbytery, or upon vi'hom rests the blame for 
trouble between the pastor and the people of Pelham it was most 
unfortunate for pastor and for people, — unfortunate for all concerned. 
The absence of united and harmonious feeling and action between 
pastor and people worked for harm continually, and could only result 
in preventing the new settlement from becoming as strong and flour- 
ishing as it would have been, had all of the disturbing disagreements 
been absent. The people of Pelham should have been more largely 
benefitted by the labors of such an highly educated, talented man as 
Mr. Abercrombie, and would have profited thereby to a much greater 
degree had they been united in supporting him by prompt payment 
of salary, and in giving him a more united moral support. Strict 
disciplinarian as was the pastor, it is possible he was not as lenient 



as some more liberal members of his church thought he should be, 
and too much inclined to exact entire and unquestioned compliance 
with the Westminster Confession of Faith. He was a man of strong 
mind and will, and his convictions of duty would not allow him to 
preach smooth things, or allow any falling away from the strict letter 
of church discipline without reproof. His people were also Scotch 
and it is quite possible were firmly convinced that the pastor was too 
exacting and strict in church discipline, and disinclined to bow 
humbly under correction. Mr. Abercrombie was unfortunate in 
having a strong element of opposition to contend with from his first 
connection with the people of Pelham as shown by the strong protest 
against his settlement. There was also a strong Abercrombie ele- 
ment or party that clung to him for years after his connection with 
the church was severed by the Presbytery. 

Stephen Burroughs, The Supplyer. 

From I 739 to 1784, or for forty-five years the people of the town had 
enjoyed the services of a settled minister only about twenty-four years. 
From 1744 to 1754, during the pastorate of Rev. Robert Abercrom- 
bie, from 1764 to 1771 under Rev. Richard Crouch Graham, from 
1774 to 1 78 1 under Rev. Nathaniel Merrill. During all the years not 
covered by the pastorates of these three eminent ministers the town 
had received the Gospel from supplyers ; sometimes through the aid 
and recommendation of the Presbytery, at other times by their own 
exertions in securing a preacher. The cause of this state of things, 
judging from what the records contain of the troubles and trials of 
the people lay largely with the people themselves. They were all 
sturdy and zealous in their belief, conscientious and scrupulous in 
the matter of discipline, — consequently each man considered his 
individual ideas and opinions those that should be adopted. The 
result was a division of opinion and no spirit of concession for sake 
of harmony and unity. 

Mr. Abercrombie continued to live in the town after his dismis- 
sion, and the strong minority of followers and adherents which his 
presence in the town kept together and active in their allegience to 
him, could not fail to have a discordant effect, and had a tendency 
to prevent unanimity and harmony in the matter of calling a new 
minister, as well as tending to keep up and encourage dissentions. 
We would not wish the reader to think that we have any desire to 
charge Mr. Abercrombie with having a hand in preventing harmoni- 
ous action and unity among the people, but we do say that his pres- 
ence in the town, and the loyalty of his friends, must have been 
harmful rather than beneficial, and we can but feel that to this fact 
among others, the trouble in settling and retaining men in the pas- 
toral relation was due. 

That ministers without settlements were not very numerous is 
attested by the records showing where men were paid for journeying 
to " the Jersey College and to Pennsylvania after a minister," and 
there is a possibility that the good deacons of Pelham became a 
little careless in demanding the fullest and undoubted endonsen-ent 
before accepting the services of a supplyer. 


However this may have been it is certain that a Godless adven- 
turer at last obtained entrance to the pulpit and was accepted as 
supplyer for a limited period. 

The reader should bear in mind that at this time nearly all travel 
over the country was on horseback or on foot, and that the means of 
communication by mail were at long intervals and uncertain, It was 
not as easy to learn the antecedants of men as now. There was no 
quick communication by railroad, telegraph or telephone, — no daily 
mail, — no detective agencies through which the records of suspicious 
persons could be looked up. The ministerial ofhce was above sus- 
picion. A ministerial imposter and deceiver was unheard of, and 
yet the continual demand for supplyers was the means of these good 
people having experience with a first-class specimen of the genus so 
much more common now than then. The reader should be charit- 
able in his consideration of the experience of these people at Pelham, 
having in mind their environment, and compare it with that of other 
towns and communities which have had experience with the hypo- 
critical religious cheat, and ministerial wolves in sheep's clothing, 
and who have been deceived and cheated by such graceless imposters, 
while every modern facility for enquiry and investigation was at 

Stephen Burroughs: Alias Rev. Mr. Davis. 

On a Tuesday afternoon in April or May 1784, a bright active 
young man nineteen years of age, rode up the steep hillside highway 
to Pelham, West Hill. He sought Dea. Ebenezer Gray and pre- 
sented a letter of recommendation written by Rev. Mr. Baldwin, then 
minister at Palmer, which introduced the young man as Rev. Mr. 
Davis, and as one well equipped to discharge the duties of supplyer 
for the pulpit of the church at Pelham, at that time without a settled 
minister, Rev. Mr. Merrill having been dismissed. Dea. Gray read the 
letter of Rev. Mr. Baldwin and having great confidence in the latter as 
a man of piety and good judgment, he consulted with other prominent 
members of the church to whom Mr. Baldwin's letter was submitted. 
The result of the careful consideration of the letter and its recom- 
mendation, including the fact that the young man had preached 
acceptably to the good people of Ludlow the previous Sunday, was, 
that they engaged the applicant as supplyer for four weeks at five 
dollars per Sunday beside board and horsekeeping. 



The young man's garb at the time was anything but ministerial, or 
that would be considered so at the present day. He wore a light 
gray coat with silver-plated buttons, green vest and red velvet 
knee breeches, and seems to have entered upon his duties as supplyer 
without any objection being made to his unministerial robes. Possi- 
bly they might have supposed that he had more fitting raiment for 
the pulpit within his capacious saddle-bags. Whatever he may have 
had in the way of clothing within the saddle-bags, he did have ten 
old sermons written by his father which he had purloined on leaving 
home. These sermons were his only reliance for success in his new 
field of labor in addition to his abundant assurance, fearlessness 
and cheek, with which he was well equipped. 


There seems to have been satisfaction with the preaching of the 
new supplyer during the four weeks of his engagement, as a new con- 
tract was then made with him to supply the pulpit for four months 

It was not long after he entered upon the performance of the 
duties of his second engagement before some of the watchful ones 
began to have certain vague suspicions that the new supplyer was 
not all that he claimed to be, and might be more and worse than he 
claimed ; — the people became suspicious, consequently watchful, 
and alert. 


Deaths occurred among these hardy people occasionally and there 
was at least one death during the ministrations of this bright but 
wicked pretender, and the supplyer officiated at the funeral. Sermons 
were required often at funerals among these people at that time, and 
it is said that this funeral being at a private house the supplyer did 
not have a position where he could easily read his sermon and at the 
same time be sure that none present could get a glimpse of it. Some 
one present looked over his shoulder and saw that the manuscript 
did not have the fresh, crisp appearance that should mark the newly 
written sermon ; on the contrary it was yellow and dingy with age, 
and this fact being noised about roused a suspicion that the supplyer 
was preaching old sermons, and not of his own composition. 

The suspicion ba.sed upon what was seen at the funeral was spread 
from man to man until the whole town was discussing the situation. 
Doubtless this topic was the main one for days, until the ability of 
the new supplyer to write a sermon, or to preach without obtaining 
one already written became seriously questioned. This was a very 
important matter for the Scotch Presbyterians, and a plan was laid to 
test the young supplyer's ability to preach without a written sermon 
of his own or another's composition, and the plan was carried out. 
The following Sunday, a short time before the supplyer entered the 
church, he received a call from the leading members and was 
requested to preach from the words found in the first clause of the 
fifth verse of the ninth chapter of Joshua, — which reads as follows: 
" And old shoes and clouted upon their feet". 

The supplyer without any show of surprise or appearance of being 
disconcerted, walked up the winding stairs to the high pulpit and 
opened the services preliminary to the sermon, and having only the 
intervening time to think out a sermon based upon such a strange 
and barren passage of scripture as the one thrust upon him. 

He seems to have been equal to the situation however, and with a 
coolness and deliberation worthy of a more honest man and a less 
solemn occasion, he proceeded to preach a sermon that commanded 
the attention of the audience, and at the same time convinced his 
critics of his ability to preach an old sermon or a new one, if written, 
— more than that, — it satisfied them of his ability to preach without 
any sermon at all, though they might not have accepted with becom- 
ing grace the personal application of the subject with which he scored 
them at the close. His exordium consisted of a short narrative of 



the Gibeonites, and a history of their dupHcity in general and 
toward the Jews especially. The subject was divided into three 
heads : 

First — The place of shoes. 

Second — The significance of old shoes. 

Third — Of clouted shoes. 

Under the first head he discussed the nature and use of shoes, — 
calling attention to the fact that man is but a sojourner in the world 
for a season ; all traveling to another and better state of existence 
where all would arrive at last. He dwelt upon the necessity of being 
prepared for the journey, of being well and fittingly shod to render 
the journey easy; that the truly good man was careful to have his feet 
shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. He called upon 
them to remember that there was no such thing as remaining inactive 
during this earthly probation, all are moving rapidly forward to their 
final end ; and the way is not smooth, — it is filled with stones as well 
as briars and thorns, and unless well shod, we are wounded at every 
step. Mankind has learned that the way is rough and thorny and 
seeks such covering for the feet as they imagine will be a sure 

Secondly, of old shoes ; — he informed his hearers they represented 
those who had been hewing for themselves broken cisterns that could 
hold no water. Generation after generation follow each other on the 
same road. — they follow in the footsteps of those that have gone 
before them, and their feet are shod with the same old shoes. 

The old shoes also represent old sins. The spirit of jealousy and 
discord, of suspicion and lack of confidence among men is but a 
display of old sins, — of old shoes that are as old as any worn. Jeal- 
ousy is an old sin, and of this old sin Solomon said "Jealousy is 
more cruel than the grave.'' It causes men to hate each other, — it 
breaks up and destroys churches and all organizations wherever 
it is allowed to enter. Woe be to those who cherish and nourish the 
seeds of jealousy. 

Thirdly, of clouted shoes. — Those who wear old shoes, who become 
suspicious and jealous of their fellowmen know very well how hateful 
and odious they become to all who are subjected to their wicked 
practices. Ministers and people, husbands and wives, parents and 
children fall a sacrifice to this unseemly jealousy. Such people know 
this is all wrong, know that it is sinful and are ashamed, and they 



have recourse to patching and clouting ; they cover themselves with 
false pretenses to hide their deserved shame and disgrace. 

Jealousy is a most debasing sin, and the least excusable of all. 
My hearers, he said, you know that when this sin has taken posses- 
sion of your souls all comforts and joys flee away, and this first born 
son of hell triumphed in your bosoms. O jealousy, that green-eyed 
monster that makes the meat it feeds on. 

The conclusion of the sermon from this strange text was a sting- 
ing application of the subject which must have made the suspicious 
Scotchmen writhe under the lash laid upon them by this nineteen 
years old stripling, from the high pulpit of the old meeting house. 

" My Hearers, where shall I apply this doctrine ? Is it calculated 
for a people only at some great distance ? Can we not bring it 
home, even to our own doors? Search and see. Try yourselves by 
the sanctuary and if there your garments are not washed in inno- 
cence, you will find ' Mene, Mene, tekel upharsin ' written on your 
walls. Will you suffer this hateful monster to rage among you ? 
Will you wear these old filthy clouted shoes any longer ? Will you 
not rather be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace ?" 

The people who had selected the text for the " Supplyer " under 
the suspicion that he had been preaching sermons written by others 
because he was unable to write them himself were abundantly sat- 
isfied that it was not necessary for him to write sermons in order to 
preach, and they were comparatively quiet for awhile. The supplyer 
had preached the four Sundays that Dea. Ebenezer Gray with the 
advice of other prominent members of the church had hired him for 
and had begun on his second engagement of sixteen Sundays at five 
dollars per Sunday besides board and horsekeeping. He had secured 
for himself more fitting clothing, and had purchased a new horse, 
saddle and bridle; had disposed of the horse and outfit that he first 
came to town with and he seemed to be going along swimmingly. But 
there was trouble in store for this wicked pretender that all of his 
smartness failed to avoid. No one of his acquaintances knew where 
young Burroughs was or what he was doing save Joseph Huntingdon, 
a young man whom he had known at Dartmouth college. Burroughs 
kept up a correspondence with Huntingdon and the latter proposed 
to visit Pelham on his way from College to his home in Coventry, 
Conn., sometime in September, 1784. 

Joseph Huntingdon came to Pelham and remained several days 


and during his stay on several occasions addressed the pretender 
Davis, by his true name Burroughs. This was noticed by those that 
heard it and it excited suspicion that Davis was not his real name. 
Huntingdon, concluded his visit, and set out on a Monday morning 
forCoventy, Conn., on horseback. Burroughs accompanied him, and 
when the two young fellows were riding past the house of Rev. Mr. 
Forward, the pastor of the church at Belchertown. the latter came 
forth and desired them to call, saying that Rev. Mr. Chapin from 
Windsor was within and he wished Davis or Burroughs to make his 

Burroughs knew Chapin already and declined, stating that he was 
in haste to move on with his friend Huntingdon, but while making 
excuses, Rev. Mr. Chapin came forth from Mr. Forward's house and 
addressed the supplyer as Burroughs. It was in vain that he tried to 
convince Chapin that his name was Davis. Chapin was not deceived 
by talk of that sort and persisted that he knew the man before him 
and that his name was not Davis but Burroughs. Burroughs and 
Huntingdon then rode on towards Palmer, the former leaving Mr. 
Forward and Mr. Chapin with not a little assumed indignation at 
being addressed as Burroughs instead of Davis. 

J>urroughs and Huntingdon parted some distance below Ijelcher- 
town. Huntingdon to pursue his journey to Coventry, Conn., and 
Burroughs turned back towards Pelham. by the same road that led 
past Mr. Forward's house : and after passing the house he heard 
some one shouting from the parsonage to him calling Mr. Davis, and 
also Mr. Burroughs, but he turned not back. Continuing along the 
hilly road toward Pelham, the supplyer had time to reflect upon the 
effect which the unpleasant interview with Mr. Chapin and Mr. 
Forward would have upon the people of his charge at Pelham when 
they came to know all about it as it was plain they would, the next 
day at farthest, when his true name and character would be laid bare 
to the people of Pelham, already suspicious, and who lacked but the 
information that Mr. Chapin could give them to cause the indigna- 
tion of the people to burst forth and fall upon him in full measure. 
He had preached fifteen of the sixteen Sundays of his second engage- 
ment, and to meet the cost of new and fitting ministerial robes and his 
new horse, saddle and bridle had drawn all the salary that would be 
due after another .Sunday's labors should be given, and as any further 
engagement was now impossible, he hastily decided upon leaving the 


town without the formality of bidding the people farewell. Arriving 
at his boarding place at Pelham that evening he put his horse in the 
usual place at the barn and went to bed as usual. When the family 
were all asleep he gathered his personal effects together, passed 
quietly from the house, took his horse from the stable, mounted and 
rode to the house of a trusted friend whom he calls Lysander. Who 
this man was or in what part of the town he lived is not known, 
probably in the easterly part. To Lysander he told the incidents of 
the day and what would befall him on the morrow if he fell into the 
clutches of those before whom he had been parading as a minis- 
ter. Lysander secreted the guilty pretender in his house and hid the 
horse in his barn, and then they waited to see what a day would 
bring forth. 

When the landlord of Davis, the supplyer, rose on that bright 
September morning in 1784 and learned that his guest of the summer 
had departed in the night, leaving not a trace, he was greatly astonished 
and excited. He informed the neighbors and the news spread like 
wildfire. A man came from Belchertown and gave information 
showing that the supplyer who said his name was Davis was a fraud 
and impostor, which added fuel to the flames of indignation that 
had begun to blaze. The whole town was in uproar. They mounted 
their horses and rode in all directions seeking for information that 
would lead to the discovery of Davis, just what they proposed to 
do if they could find him cannot be clearly understood now but it is 
enough to know that those good people had been outraged, scandal- 
ized, by this unsanctified pretender who had been occupying the 
sacred desk of their meeting house, and they were all intent upon 
discovering the way he had gone and his whereabouts if possible. 

During all that day of exciting thought and action among the 
people Burroughs was in the house of his friend, Lysander, and a 
witness of the hurrying to and fro of the angry people to whom he 
had been preaching for five months. 

About 12 o'clock at night, after the people had quieted down. 
Burroughs mounted his horse and took leave of his friend Lysander 
and family and rode out into the darkness, going eastward towards 
Greenwich. He could, and doubtless did have a review of the past 
five months of his life in Pelham, now so suddenly terminated as he 
rode out of the town alone in the darkness of night. About one 
o'clock Burroughs overtook a man in the town of Greenwich named 


Powers whom he had known before coming to Pelham. He accused 
Powers with having been searching for himself whh the Pelham 
people, which Powers at first denied but later confessed that it was 
true. Burroughs explained the situation to Powers and endeavored 
to have the latter promise not to divulge his whereabouts. Powers 
hesitated and then Burroughs frightened him into taking a solemn 
oath that he would not, and they rode along together until Powers 
reached his house and Burroughs kept on, having decided to ride to 
Rutland, and reached there about eight o'clock in the morning. 

As soon as Burroughs had parted with Powers the latter forgot 
his oath and turned back to Pelham, giving the alarm and rousing the 
people into the greatest excitement again on learning the direction 
Burroughs had taken. 

A goodly number saddled their horses and pushed on after the 
fieeing imposter. Burroughs was in the store of a friend named 
Frink when he heard the tramping of horses hoofs. Looking out 
the window near which he was standing he recognized a crowd of Pel- 
ham people rushing into town on horseback, and he very well knew the 
errand that brought them there. His first thought was to elude 
them by flight ; he made a rush for the rear door of his friend's store 
or shop, when near the door he met a Mr. Conkey, one of the angry 
Pelham men, who tried to lay hold of him. Burroughs struck 
Conkey across the arm with a stick with such force as to break his 
arm. Rushing past Conkey, now disabled, he ran around the end 
of the shop or store and turning the corner he met two of the Pelham 
deacons ; turning again to avoid them, all of the angry Pelham 
people gave chase, shouting '• Stop him! Stop him !" as they chased 
Burroughs down the hill. The fact of being pursued by the people 
he had been preaching to for the past five months, the shouting, 
and not very complimentary language of his pursuers angered their 
late Supplyer and he halted, picked up a stone and faced them, declar- 
ing that he would kill the first man who came near him. At this 
defiant attitude, the pursuers all halted in astonishment except Dr. 
Hinds, a prominent man of Pelham, who coming within reach of 
Burroughs, received a blow on the head which felled him to the 
ground. Burroughs seeing a crowd of Ruthxnd peo])le coming to see 
what it was all about, moved forward towards a small barn, his late 
people following at a respectful distance. Entering the barn, he 
climbed to the top of the haymow, taking a scythe snath along for 


defense. Rutland people came into the barn with the angry men from 
Pelham, and the former wanted to know what the disagreement was 
based upon. 

Deacon McMullen of Pelham then explained that the man on the 
haymow was an imposter who had come to Pelham, calling his name 
Davis while it was Burroughs and had grossly deceived them by 
claiming to be a preacher, and preached to them all summer, and 
they had paid him for one Sunday that he had not preached. 

The last statement seemed to strike the Rutland people as wrong,, 
but as the Sunday had not yet come on which he had been engaged 
to preach, it constituted a mitigating circumstance. 

Deacon McMullen then charged that Burroughs had nearly killed 
Dr. Hinds and Mr. Conkey and ought to be arrested and punished,. 
he also spoke of the intimidation and threatening of Powers at Green- 
wich the previous night. 

There was a wordy discussion between the pursuers of Burroughs 
from Pelham and the Rutland people who had followed into the barn 
where Burroughs had taken refuge. Dea. McMullen and the party 
with him insisted that the law should take hold of Burroughs, and 
the Rutland people were not sure that he had done any great wrong 
by preaching under an assumed name if his preaching was good ; 
neither did they think that collecting money in advance for a 
Sunday's preaching, that he had not given them, was any very grave 
offense. Finally the Rutlanders proposed, that as Burroughs had 
collected five dollars of the Pelham people beyond what he had given 
an equivalent for, the whole business should be settled up by an 
adjournment to Wood's tavern where Burroughs was to expend the 
five dollars at the bar for the benefit of all those who were thirsty, 
whether native Rutlanders or people from Pelham. This proposition 
was finally adopted. Burroughs descended from the hay loft, where he 
had climbed for safety, and the party went to the tavern where 
Burroughs called for drinks for all hands, and an era of good feeling 
and satisfaction was rapidly setting in when Dr. Hinds, who had 
been knocked down for venturing to near while Burroughs was 
retreating to the barn, put in an appearance and began to foam with 
rage at the turn things had taken. Dr. Hinds was a prominent man 
in I^elham, was the heaviest tax payer as well as a noted physician at 
home, — and smarting under the pain of the blow from the stone in 
the hands of Burroughs was in no mood to condone the grave 

33 o 


offences of an imposter, such as he had ridden from Pelham to Rut- 
land to overhaul. There was a consultation between the leading 
Pelham men to decide upon what their action should be, and it is 
said they decided to take Burroughs back to Pelham. The result of 
the consultation and the decision to force their late supplyer to go 
back to Pelham was made known to Burroughs in some way, prob- 
ably by the Rutlanders, and having decided objections to returning 
to Pelham as a prisoner, he decided on a plan to escape. Being in 
a room on the second story of the tavern, Burroughs locked himself 
in. The Pelham men went to the room to take the fugitive supplyer, 
finding the door locked, an axe was sent for. Burroughs jumped out 
of a window to the slooping roof of a shed and from that to the 
ground, landing close by where the men were looking for an axe to 
break down the door of the room. Burroughs then ran and obtained 
a good lead before the fleetest of the irate Pelham men knew that 
their hoped for prisoner had escaped. Burroughs eluded them. 
Being unable to find their man, they gave up the idea of taking him 
back with them and returned to the tavern, mounted their horses 
and set out for Pelham, filled with vexation and anger over the 
failure of their expedition to secure and punish the wicked supplyer. 

Burroughs returned to Frink's store after Dea. McMuUen and 
party had departed, spent the night in Rutland and the next morning 
started towards Providence, enquiring as he travelled, for a place to 
preach. On the way to Providence he learned that the people at 
Attleboro were without a preacher and desirous of obtaining one. 

Arriving in Attleboro he offered his services to the proper per- 
sons and was engaged for a short season. Burroughs ministered to 
the people of Attleboro for four Sundays only, refusing to remain 
longer, because he had engaged to preach at Danbur)^ Conn., and 
desired to visit his friend Huntingdon at Coventry in thfe same state. 

While it is not our purpose to go fully into the life of Stephen 
Burroughs there is one episode which should be given in connection 
with what has gone before. Burroughs was intimate with the man 
Lysander, a citizen of Pelham and with whom he was a guest for 
twenty-four hours after he disappeared from his boarding place as 
already stated. Who this Lysander was or what his family name 
was cannot be determined with certainty, but it was through Lysan- 
der that Burroughs became interested in a process of transmuting 
copper into silver which Lysander informed him was known to one 


Phillips, who was working with the noted Glazier Wheeler, a coun- 
terfeit money-maker at New Salem. This secret Phillips had agreed 
to communicate to Lysander. Burroughs was greatly interested in 
the story, and Lysander wished to have his friend share in the wealth 
which he (Lysander) believed was to come from transmuting copper 
into silver, and personally had the greatest confidence in the practi- 
cability of the business, but his wife was not hopeful, on the contrary 
was doubtful. In order to make sure that there was no deception 
practiced by Phillips it was arranged that Burroughs should accom- 
pany Lysander to New Salem and together witness the process and 
note results. The visit was made in the night because it was thought 
it might cause unpleasant suspicions should it become known that 
they had been seen in the vicinity of Glazier Wheeler's place in the 
daytime, especially for one supplying the pulpit of the Presbyterian 
church at Pelham. 

They arrived at New Salem at ten o'clock at night, and informed 
Phillips of the purpose of their visit. Phillips kindly consented to 
gratify his visitors with practical evidence of his power to transmute 
ordinary copper to the best of silver. 

Phillips weighed out half an ounce of copper and put it into a 
crucible, — put the curcible into the tire; after a short time had 
elapsed Phillips put something wrapped in a paper into the hot 
crucible containing the copper. 

The contents of the crucible then began to foam and boil, contin- 
uing in that state for ten minutes when it settled down into a clear 
fiuid which was poured off and cooled. It was good silver and 
weighed half an ounce. It withstood nitric acid and other well- 
known tests, so that there was no doubt as to the quality of the 
product turned from the crucible. The only unsatisfactory thing 
with Burroughs was the nature of the so-called powder in the paper 
which Phillips had thrown into the crucible at a certain stage of the 
process. Phillips contended that it absorbed the verdigris of the 
copper leaving the remainder pure silver. 

Burroughs desired to see some of the powder, and after satisfying 
himself that it was really a powder as claimed, he then wished Phillips 
to perform the experiment again and put the powder in open, with- 
out the covering of paper. Phillips said it was not quite as good a 
plan to do that way, but consented to gratify his visitors' curiosity. 
The experiment was then repeated in all respects the same as before, 



except that the transmuter, Phillips, laid a large flat piece of coal over 
the mouth of the crucible after putting in the copper. The result 
was the same; — half an ounce of pure silver was poured from the 
crucible as before. 

Burroughs then desired Phillips to furnish him with materials and 
allow him to proceed, with the details of the experiment and the 
handling of the crucible, while Phillips should remain at a distance 
from the fire. Phillips assented to this proposition. Burroughs 
weighed out the copper, put it in the crucible and at the proper time 
put in the powder and when the contents were foaming Phillips, 
standing at a distance from the forge, cried out to Burroughs to stir 
the contents of the crucible. The only thing at hand with which the 
crucible's contents could be stirred was an iron rod about the size of 
the old-fashioned nail rod, such as blacksmiths of those days ham- 
mered out their own nails for horse and cattle shoes. Burroughs 
seized the rod and stirred the contents of the crucible, although he 
did not remember that Phillips stirred the crucible when attending it 
himself. On pouring out the contents of the crucible they weighed 
up a half ounce of pure silver as on the two previous occasions. 

Burroughs begged for still further indulgence in the investigation 
and this time he stipulated that Phillips should not be even a specta- 
tor; that he should leave the room and remain out while Burroughs 
and his friend Lysander selected the materials for the crucible and 
manipulated it in the fire; to this Phillips gave assent. The two 
weighed out the half ounce of copper, placed it in the crucible, and 
when it was fully melted added the mysterious powder and stirred 
the contents with a short piece of walking stick, the nail rod not 
lying handy at the time. In stirring the contents of the crucible, 
about four inches of the stick was burned away, but as the stick of 
itself was worthless no thought was given to it at the time. After 
pouring out the contents of the personally managed crucible and 
giving it time to cool, a half ounce of pure silver was weighed up as 
in each of the former tests. 

Satisfaction could not be more complete, and late that night Bur- 
roughs and his friend Lysander returned to Pelham filled with visions 
of fabulous wealth which was within easy reach, and they began per- 
fecting plans to get this wealth in hand. 

After two years in Dartmouth college, which he was forced to leave 
before the completion of the course, by fault of his own rather than 


that of others ; he left his father's house at Hanover, N. H. and went 
to Newburyport and shipped on a packet having letters of marque 
for Nantes, France, shipping in the capacity of physician for the 
ship. On the passage out the packet halted at Sable Island, a lonely 
uninhabited island on which there was only a hut for the protection 
of such as might be shipwrecked on the surrounding reefs, and some 
wild hogs that might be used as food by such unfortunates, if by any 
possibility they could be killed. 

The proposition which Burroughs and his friend Lysander con- 
sidered was to charter a vessel, load her with copper, coal and pro- 
visions, besides the necessary outfit for transmuting copper into 
silver and then take up their residence on Sable Island so that they 
might pursue the wealth getting business without interruption, expect- 
ing, doubtless to bring back a ship load of silver instead of copper. 

The consideration of this money making scheme was an all-absorb- 
ing one with Burroughs and Lysander, when the sudden exposure of 
Burroughs came by the visit of his friend Huntingdon, and the unfor- 
tunate collision with Mr. Chapin and Mr. Forward at Belchertown, 
made it imperative for Burroughs to leave Pelhani. This broke off the 
consideration of their plans for a time, but Burroughs who had become 
an ardent believer in free silver, was desirous of completing the plans 
already begun, and after visiting his friend Huntingdon at Coventry, 
several weeks subsequent to his escape from the clutches of the 
enraged Pelham people at Rutland, he determined to return to Pel- 
ham to renew the consideration of the plans so suddenly broken off. 
He made the journey to Massachusetts and to Pelham, arriving at 
the house of his friend Lysander at one o'clock in the night. 

He was received with hearty expressions of satisfaction by Lysan- 
der and his family, and Burroughs was as effusive in his greetings as 
they. There was a mutual recapitulation of the exciting occurrences 
connected with his departure from Pelham and the scenes at Rutland 
of which Lysander had of course received exparte statements from his 
neighbors who were witnesses of the doings at Rutland. They 
laughed over the ludicrous antics of the leading citizens when they 
learned that Mr. Davis, the supplyer had disappeared, and over the 
anathemas and execrations that his pursuers heaped upon the Rut- 
landers for not joining heartily with them in securing the imposter 
and bringing him to punishment. 



After all the incidents and happenings of the chase after Bur- 
roughs had been rehearsed and nothing of information concerning 
the great business of securing wealth by changing copper to silver 
had been voluntered by Lysander, Burroughs ventured to ask how he 
was progressing in the business, and with much show of distress and 
disappointment was informed by Lysander that the scheme for get- 
ting rich was exploded. " Burroughs, we have all been deceived by 
Phillips, that king of villians," said Lysander, and then he went on to 
explain how the deception was practised and made so plain as to fully 
convince them of its being a real transmutation of copper to silver. 

When the half ounce of copper was placed in the crucible at the 
first test, Phillips put in a half ounce of silver wrapped in the paper 
with the powder which consumed the copper and left the silver. The 
second test was made to appear real by resorting to the following 
manipulations which neither Burroughs nor Lysander detected at the 

As Burroughs desired to see the powder the silver could not be 
enclosed in the paper containing it, so Phillips unobserved laid the 
silver on the forge and covered it with a flat piece of charcoal broad 
enough to cover the top of the crucible, and with the tongs raised the 
silver with the charcoal and laid the coal across the crucible, the 
silver falling from the under side of the charcoal into the crucible 
when the tongs were removed. The third test was the one which 
Burroughs managed with Phillips standing at a distance from the 
forge and was directed to stir the contents of the crucible, which he 
did with a horse nail rod that lay handy on the forge. On the end 
of this rod the silver was fixed and blackened to look exactly like the 
iron rod itself, —when used to stir the contents of the crucible the 
silver melted off. 

The last test was performed by Burroughs and Lysander alone, 
they weighed out the copper, put in the mysterious powder at the 
right time and stirred the mass in the crucible with a short piece of 
walking sticking, — the only thing in reach at the time, — no thought 
being given to the disappearance of the iron rod which had been 
laid aside unnoticed and the innocent piece of walking stick left 
within easy reach to be sought to stir the contents of the crucible at 
the right stage of the operation. The handy portion of walking stick 
was burned off for about five inches at the end and there was hidden 
the necessary half ounce of silver to complete the test and show up 
when cool as pure silver. 


This statement of fact by Lysander caused a collapse in the hopes 
of great wealth which had filled the mind of Burroughs and had 
caused him to journey from Coventry to Pelham, when he was aware 
that neither Dr. Hinds nor Dea. McMullen cared to see him except 
to put him under arrest as the worst imposter they had ever known. 
Burroughs had lost in his expectations but his pocket had not suf- 
fered from the skillful manipulations of the one-armed bunco man, 
Phillips at New Salem, but Lysander and others had been fleeced in 
the sum of $2000, for Lysander was not the only one that Phillips 
was letting into the secret for a money consideration. It cost 
Lysander $100 in money and a fine horse to learn that he had been 
duped. Phillips, having secured all that he thought it possible with 
safety to seek, disappeared and left his dupes in the lurch, including 
Glazier Wheeler, to whom he had promised half the swag he should 
collect from those anxious to learn the business of transmutation of 

According to the statement of Burroughs, Lysander then decided 
to try to better his financial condition by securing a quantity of 
Glazier Wheeler's counterfeit silver dollars, which the latter turned 
out at the rate of three spurious for one standard dollar, and in the 
face of the pleadings of his wife and the arguments of Burroughs 
against it signified his intention to put them in circulation. He pro- 
posed to go to Springfield after certain drugs which Wheeler was in 
need of to fill an order he had placed in Wheeler's hands for more 
spurious money, and to take some of the bad money along to make 
the purchases. Arguments and pleadings were in vain, and because 
of his high regard for Lysander and his family Burroughs oft'ered to 
take twenty counterfeit dollars and ride to Springfield to purchase 
the drugs which Lysander said must be obtained and for which he 
had determined to go in person. 

Burroughs arrived in Springfield at 11 a. m. called at the drug 
store, ordered the drugs, and turned over some of the twenty bogus 
dollars in payment, and was arrested in a printing office opposite the 
drug store a few mmutes later. 

Burroughs was thrown into jail to await trial, and it was while in 
prison that he decided upon the course which he would pursue at the 
trial. Instead of implicating Lysander in the business of passing 
bad money he concluded to keep his mouth closed and take the 
punishment dealt out by the courts because of the great suffering the 


implication of his friend Lysander would cause his innocent wife 
and family. Ikirroughs was convicted and sentenced to three years 
imprisonment in Northampton jail. 

Stephen Burroughs was the only son of Rev. Eden Burroughs of 
Hanover, N. H. He had spent one year in preparation for Dart- 
mouth college, was in that institution two years; went on a voyage to 
Nantes, France, as ship physician at seventeen; taught school at 
Haverhill and Oxford, N. H.. after his return from France ; was 
obliged to leave home on account of being concerned in the robbery 
of a bee-house near Hanover, and for his attentions to a married 
woman at Oxford. When nineteen years old he follows the Connecti- 
cut river valley to Massachusetts ; preaches his first sermon at 
Ludlow, and rides up the long Pelham slopes and bargains with 
good Deacon Ebenezer Gray to preach for four Sundays at five 
dollars a Sunday including board and horse keeping. Having fol- 
lowed the career of this talented young imposter so far as it has 
connection with the people of Pelham, as preacher or as passer of 
counterfeit money, we now take leave of him, with a good start in a 
career which became notorious, and whose operations covered a goodly 
portion of New England. The main facts of this Burroughs episode 
are condensed from the " Life of Burroughs," written by himself and 
published by M. N. Spear of Amherst. 

Thk Hay Mow Serm<.)n. 

The famous Hay Mow Sermon of Stephen l^urroughs has been a 
subject of great interest for more than a century. Jt has been 
asserted many times that it was preached from the hay mow in 
Rutland by Burroughs, to the people of Pelham who had pursued 
him from the tavern, and when hard pressed he had entered a barn 
and mounted the hay mow for safety. From the hay mow as a 
pulpit Burroughs doubtless made some pointed remarks in response 
to the incriminating charges that came up to him from the mixed 
audience on the barn floor of pursuing Pelham men, and the curious 
Rutlanders who were interested to see the outcome of the strange 
spectacle of a foot race between the staid churchmen from Pelham 
and their late " Supplyer." who had proven to be a wolf in sheep's 
clothing. But it is quite evident that the episode at the Rutland 
barn was onlv used to furnish on attractive name for a (locumenl 


issued several years later in pamphlet form, and probably never 
preached at all. 

The opening paragraphs refer to the several ministers that had 
been settled in Pelham before Burroughs was engaged as " Supplyer " 
viz.: Rev. Robert Abercrombie, Rev. Richard Crouch Graham and 
Rev. Mr. Merrill. Rutland is mentioned truthfully as a land of hills 
and valleys — and the collision between Burroughs and Dr. Hinds, in 
which the latter received a blow on the head from a stone in the 
hands of the former is a matter of history. 

Then the trouble between the Lincolnites and the Pelhamites is 
taken up. This refers of course to the Shays rebellion of 1786-7 : 
proving conclusively that the Hay Mow Sermon was not preached 
extempore from the Rutland hay mow, but written after the rebellion 
had been crushed out, or not until three or four years after Burroughs 
climbed the hay mow. This feat having been accomplished in the 
autumn of 17S4 after ''supplying the vacant pulpit at Pelham for 
perhaps twenty Sundays and skipping the town with one Sunday 
more paid for than he had preached. 

That part of the so-called sermon which touches upon St. Patrick 
and the race question was one upon which the people were very 
sensitive, as Burroughs well knew, and the charge that they could 
not pronounce the word faith, at all, — the nearest approach being 
the shorter and more quickly spoken word " fath " accompanied by 
the distinctive Irish brogue tended to make the Scotch people very 
angry, for they much disliked the title of Scotch-Irish often applied 
to them, and coming from Burroughs, the irreligious and wicked 
youth who had by sanctimonious pretentions been able to deceive 
them and gain admission to the pulpit for several months, made it 
all the more unbearable. 

The above comments and explanations will help to a better under- 
standing of the circumstances under which the much too highly 
extolled sermon was evolved from the brain of the notorious Bur- 
roughs, and will take away much of the sprightly novelty and spice 
commonly supposed to be found in the extempore effort of Burroughs 
from the Rutland hay mow. 

The Sermon. 

" In those days the Pelhamites being gathered together, from the East and 
from the West, from the North and from the South : Stephen the Burrowite 


being the Prophet of Pelham, ascended the Aay mow, and lifted up his 
voice, saying, "hear ye the voice of the Lord which crieth against the Pel- 
hamites, — for tlie anger of the Lord speaketh with furious indignation 
against you for the follies which you committed against the Lord and 
against his annointed. For verily, saith the Lord, I have given you my 
prophets, rising up early, and sending them : But the first* you soon 
rejected : — The secondf on account of your cruelty, I took to myself: — The 
thirdt you drove away with great wrath, and pursued with great rage, 
malignity, and uproar. — " Then," said the Lord " I will give them a Minis- 
ter like unto themselves, full of all deceit, hypocricy, and duplicity. But 
whom, among all the sons of men shall I send.'* Then came there forth a 
lying Spirit, and stood before the Lord, saying " I will go forth, and be a 
spirit in the mouth of Stephen the Burrowite." And the Lord said "go." 
Then rose up Stephen the Burrowite, of the tribe of the Puritans, and 
family of Ishmael, and went forth to Pelham, sorely oppressing the Pel- 
hatnites, taking from them ten shekels of silver, a mighty fine horse, and 
changes of raiment, and ran off to Rutland. 

Then the Pelhainites were moved with rage, like the moving of tlie trees 
of the forest by a mighty tempest, and gathered themselves together, and 
pursued their Prophet down to Rutland. 

And now, I your prophet and minister, being ascended on the hay mow, 
declare unto you, that I see an angel flying through heaven, crying "Wo! 
Wo! Wo! to the Pelhamites. The first wo is past, but behold two other 
woes shall come, which will sweep you away with a mighty besom of 

Then arose up Nehemiah the son of Nehemiah, Daniel the son of John, 
and John the son of John, who was a trader in potash and were about to lay 
violent hands on the Prophet. 

Then the Prophet lift up his rod, which he held in his hand, and smote 
John§, the trader in potash across the right arm, and broke it asunder, but 
the rod breaking and falling out of his hand, he caught up a great mill stone, 
and cast it on the head of Nehemiah || and sunk him to the ground. 

This Rutland being a land of hills and valleys, where groweth the syca- 
more tree, the fir tree, and the shittim wood, by the wayside, as thou goest 
unto Dan, which in the Hebrew is called Abandone, but iu'^yriac Worces- 
ter ; it being the place of a Skull : And not that Dan which is called by 
Tom Paine and Philistines Laith. The I^rophet travelling through this land 
by the way of Ur of the Chaldeans, souglit him five smooth stones out of 
the brook, and put them into his wallet; lest, haply, Syhon King of 
Hespbon, and Ogg King of Bashan, should come out against him. But it 
went out all round about the land of Edom saying, " The Burrowite is not, 
but is fled and gone over the brook Cedron.'' 

Therefore they blew a trumpet, saying, " Every man to his tent O Fel- 
hamite !" So they all went up from following after the Prophet; but when 
*Mr. Abercronibie. +Mr. Graham. J.VIr. Merrill. §Konkey. IIDr. Hinds. 


they came to the pass of Jourdati behold a strong army had taken posses- 
sion of the ford of the river ! at which the Pelhamites were sore dis- 
mayed, and sought by guile to deceive the army of the Lincoliiites; there- 
fore, they say unto the Liiicohiites. " We be strangers from a far country, 
with old shoes, and clouted on our feet." Then said the Lincolnites unto 
the men of Pelham, "Say Faith!" Then the /"(^//iawzViJj- said "fath," for 
they could not ?,?iy faith. Then the Lincolnites knew them to be Pelham- 
ites and fell upon them and slew them so that not one was left to lean 
against the wall. 

When it was told in Pelham, saying, " Our old men are slain, and our 
young ones are carried away into captivity, and our holy places are polluted 
with the abomination which maketh desolate, there was great lamentation, 
weeping and wailing; every family mourned apart and their wives apart — 
and their mourning was like the mourning of Hadradimmon in the valley 
of Megidon ;" and they said " alas ! for the glory is departed from Pelliam ; 
the second wo which the Prophet foretold is surely come to us; and when 
the third wo shall come who shall be able to stand. — The beauty of Pelham 
is slain upon the high places ! is slain ! is slain upon East Hill. The Grays, 
the McMullens, the Hindses and the Konkeys are fallen upon the dark 
mountains of the shadow of deal Ji ! Tell it not in Greemvicli, publish it not 
in Leverett, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice; alas, for our 
wives and our little ones ! So the hearts of the Pelhamites were troubled, 
and they drew around the alter of St. Patrick, and bowed down before the 
alter saying, " O great Spirit ! how have we offended that thou hast left 
us to be destroyed by our enemies ! Shall we go up again to fight 
against the Lincolnites, and shall we prosper ?" But they received no 
answer, by Urim nor Thummim, by voices nor dreams; and the Pelhamites 
were greatly dismayed. Then said Ahab, the Tishbite, " Hear O Pelhai/t- 
itesl There liveth in the wilderness of Sin, as thou goest unto the land of 
Shinar, a cunning woman, whose name is Goody McFall, who has a famil- 
liar, and dwelleth alone, even with her cat. To this woman let the fathers 
and leaders of the tribe of Pelham repair and peradventure she may tell us 
what we ought to do." 

Then the chief men of Pelham, captains of tens, captains of twelves and 
captains of twenties, arose up and disguised themselves in the habits of 
honest men, and went forth to Goody iMcFall, saying. '" Bring us up a 
Spirit," — and she said " Whom shall I bring up ?" And they say unto her 
" Bring up Father Abercrombie." Then Goody McFall laid hold of her 
instrument of Enchantment and stamped on the ground, and then cried out, 
alas ! for you have deceived me, for you are Pelhamites and not honest 
men. And they said unto her '• fear not." Then the ground was troubled 
and began to move — and they said unto her, -'Whom sawest thou?" And 
she said " Abercrombie." Then came there forth old Father Abercrombie ; 
and with a countenance which made the Pelhamites quake with fear, said, 
"Why hast thou troubled me, even in my grave?" Then answered the 
Pelhamites, and said, " Because we are sore troubled. — We have fallen by 


the hands of the Lincolnites, and when we enquired at the altar of our great 
Prophet, we were not answered by Urim nor Thummim, by voices nor 
dreams." Then said Abercrombie, — " You shall go out to-morrow against 
the Lincolnites, and shall fall by their hands, and be utterly destroyed, — 
your wives and little ones shall be led away into captivity, for your measure 
of iniquity is full." Then the men of Pelhain fell all along on the ground, 
and their hearts sunk within them.— Then fear and sore dismay spread 
through all the town oi Pelhani, and the Pelhatnites^ed into the wilderness, 
and hid themselves in caves and holes of the earth. 

And lo ! it was told in the army of the Lincolnites, saying, — The Pelham- 
ites have fled !" Then arose up the Lincolnites and pursued after the men 
of Pelhatfi, sorely discomfiting them, and led many away captive to the city 
of Dan. Then Benjamin the Lhicolnite blew a trumpet, and all the men 
left pursuing after the Pelha}?iites. 

And the Pelhamites who were carried away captive to the city of Daii, 
besought Jammy the Bostonian, saying, " We be evil men, dealing in lies 
and wickedness; we have sought to destroy the goodness of the land ! we 
digged a pit and fell therein ; we have trusted to St. Patrick to deliver us, 
but he has utterly forsaken us ; — therefore O Jammy, in thy wrath remember 
mercy ; and we will leave assembling ourselves together to talk politics, and 
follow our occupation of raising potatoes." — Then Jammy the Bostonian 
had compassion on the Pelhamites. 

They then sung the following hymn, after which, the Prophet passed out 
of their hands and fled from their sight. 

The Hymn. 

Says Irish Teague I do not know. 

From whence came our Nation ; 
" I to St. Patrick's shrine will go, 

And there get information. 
Great genius of our Nation, tell 

By whom we are befriended. 
For the Irish are so much like hell, 

I fear they from thence descended. 
At which the grumbling spirit spoke. 

Poor Teague, I will befriend thee ; 
Since now my aid you do invoke, 

My help PU freely lend thee. 
Once on the coast of Gadareen, 

As flocks and herds were feeding, 
A great herd of two hundred swine. 

Which shepherds these were leading. 
Were by a Legion then possessed— 

* * of minds were bent on slaughter." 

Any further reprint of the hymn is impossible as the ancient copy 
is so worn and torn that the above is all there is left. 

Pelham in the Wars. 

Frcficli War. — Rero/iifionary War. — War of 1812. — Mexican Wat 
— The Great Rebel lion. 

French and Indian Wars. 

Information concerning the part Pelham men had in the French 
and Indian wars is not easily obtainable. The ancient muster rolls 
had headings printed in a business like manner, giving a heading for 
all information for the identification of every soldier, term of service, 
miles marched, amount of pay, etc., and yet the one heading, " Town 
From," that would locate each man definitely is left blank on most 
of the rolls. These rolls are pasted into large blank volumes, ten or 
more in number, and not yet fully indexed, so that one must examine 
each roll for the names of men that have a familiar sound or that 
was a common family name in the town one is specially interested in. 
If one finds a muster roll of Hampshire county men it is scrutinized 
closely for names of men from the town whose soldier record is 
being looked up. Absolute accuracy is hardly attainable under the 

The first man whose name appears as serving in the French and 
Indian wars is given on the authority of the town records, as follows : 
At a meeting, March 19, 1746-7, "Voted that James Fergerson is 
freed from Paying Rats y' 1746 for his being in y" War." At the 
same meeting it was "voted that Isaac Hunter and John Starling is 
freed from Paying Rats last year and this year." Robert Fergerson 
was also "freed from paying Rats last year and this year." The 
record does not state that the last three men were freed from pay- 
ing taxes in consideration of their being in the war, but it may 
not be unfair to assume that the four men were in his Majesty's ser- 
vice fighting the French and Indians. 

A muster roll of Capt. Isaac \^'yman"s company in 1755, has the 
name of John Gray as in service of that company, — no town being 
given but it is a Pelham name and it is assumed that he was prob- 
ably from that town. 

On the 15th of Sept. 1755, the regiment of militia under Col. 


Abraham Williams was mustered and thirty-nine men enlisted there- 
from by order of Lieut.-Gov. Phipps and among these names was 
that of ]knoni Shirtlieff, afterwards innkeeper, constable, and a man 
of position in I'elham. 

When such an order was sent out to the commander of any regi- 
ment the quota was filled by enlistment from the enrolled men in the 
regiment, or if men enough did not volunteer, men were " impressed *' 
to make up the quota. 

A demand was made upon the regiment of Lt.-(_"ol. Thomas Wil- 
liams, May 4, 1756, and not enough enlisting, Matthew Gray was 
impressed, and the squad was mustered in at Hatfield. Matthew 
Gray was a Pelham man. 

Levi Gray's name appears in the list of men from C"ol. Joseph 
Dwight's regiment who enlisted for service at Crown Point, May 4, 
1756. Levi Gray lived on the farm known as the Eseck Cook farm. 
John Dunlap was in Capt. Samuel Moody's company, Sept. £o, 
1755, and Robert Dunlap in the company of Capt. David Dunning. 
Robert Gilmore enlisted for service at Crown Point, Oct. 7, 1755, 
and W^illiam Oliver enlisted from Col. Jacob Wendall's regiment for 
service at the same place, Oct. 2, J 755, as did William Patterson. 
It is not absolutely certain that the last two names were of Pelham 
men but there were men of these names in the town and in the 
absence of statement on the rolls as to the towns the men came from 
it is quite possible they were from Pelham. 

Joshua Conkey and James Turner were doubtless soldiers in the 
French and Indian wars sometime previous to 1761, and it is 
believed that during their service they traversed some part of Wash- 
ington county, New York, and it is supposed that the land in that 
section pleased them and caused the men to go out there in the 
spring of 1761 and secure a tract of land on the flats where the vil- 
lage of Salem, N. Y., now stands. 

" A Muster Roll of the Company under Command of Opt Robert 
Lotheridge in the Regiment of which Isreal Hillings is Colonel, which 
marched by the Captain (lenerals orders for the relief of the Garri- 
son and Troops at Fort William Henry at the time it was invested in 
the year 1757 in which is given the names of men. their Quality, the 
number of miles Marched, the whole term of service in Days, the 
number of, the amount of each mans wages, and the number 
of meals that were eat ui)on the credit of the Province, annexed to 
the names of those who eat them." 





No. of 


Meals to be 

Robert Lotheridi^e, 



_^3_,2— 4 


John Johnson, 



2—14 5 


William Crosett, 



2 — 3 8 


James Conkey, 


2—00 — 7 


Andrew Makleni, 


2—00 7 


Hugh Johnson, 


2 1 3 

Isaac Gray, 


2—00 7 


John Hamilton, 


2—00 7 

Oliver .Selfridge. 


I — 19 5 


William Selfridge, 



1—19 — 5 


Patrick McMallan, 

I — 18 2 


George Patterson, 


I— 18— 10 


James Hood, 


I — 18— ID 

Isaac Hunter. 

I— 18 2 

Robert McCulloch, 

I 18 2 

John Peebels, 


1-18— 10 

Robert Hamilton, Jun., 

I — iS 2 

Hugh Moors, 


1-18 -2 


Robert Peebels, Jun.. 



Archibald Crosett, 



I — 18 2 

Jonathan Gray, 

I — 18 2 

Robert Maklam, 



1-18 — 2 

James Hamilton, 



I— 18 -10 

James Turner, 



I — 1 8 2 

Thomas Cochran. 


I — 18 — 10 

James Cowan, 

I 18 2 

Arthur Crozier, 



1^18 2 

Thomas Johnson, 


I — 18— ID 

John Lynsey, 

I — r8 2 

John Crozier, Jun., 

I — 18 2 

Wm. Gilmore. 



i_,8 2 


James Harkness, 



I — 18— ID 

James Hamilton, 



i_i8 2 

Daniel Gray, 


I — 18— 10 

Alexander Conkey, Jun., 


I — 18 2 


John Thompson, 

i_i8 2 

.Samuel Stinson, 



I -18 2 


James Thompson, 


I — 18 — ID 

John McCartney, 

I — 18 2 

James Halbert. 

I-18— 2 

James Barry, 



I — 18 — ID 

. ohn Blaire, 

I-18 2 

ohn Gray, Jun., 


I— 18— 2 

John McNiell, 



I — 18— 10 

Wm. Gray, Jun.. 



I- 18 2 



I-.8— 2 

Number of miles, 200. Time of service in days, 14I. 

About one quarter of the paper on which the above muster roll 
was written, is missing, so that as many as sixty officers and men 
from Pelham marched to the reUef of Fort William Henry in 1757, 
though but 46 are now on the muster roll. 

344 HisroRY OF pklha.m, mass. 

A billetting roll of Capt. Salah Barnard's company in Colonel Wil- 
liam Williams' regiment has the names of the following men ; year 
not given : 

David Johnson, Isaac Davis, 

Robert King, Robert Gilmore, 

James Peebles. Eliot Gray, 

James Powers. Adam Gray, 

Isaac Stevenson, John Peeble, 

Seth Rowhmd. Robert Peeble, 

David Gowden, Isaac Wliite. 
Robert Cochran, 

These men enlisted May 2, served 2)3 clays, and each received 


" A Return of Men in Col Isreal Williams Regiment to be put 
under the immediate command of Jeffry Amherst for the invasion of 
Canada in 1759," has the names of the following Pelham men. 
Their ages are given, and each man furnished his own gun and 
enlisted April 2 : 

David Gowden 35 Arthur Crozier ig 

Robert Hamilton 28 John Edgar Jun 20 

John Crozier Sen 59 John McCartney 40 

William Gray 18 John Halbert 18 

James Hamilton 18 James Halbert 24 

Isaac Hunter 19 

Arthur Crozier, son of John Crozier. James Hamilton son of 
John Hamilton. 

A return of men enlisted for His Majesty's service in the reduc- 
tion of Canada in 1760. Enlisted April 10; mustered April 12. 

William (iray 19 Adam Clark Gray 17 

Arthur Crozier 19 James Sloan 18 

In the pay-roll of Capt. Thomas Cowdine's company for service 
from April, 1761 to December following there is just one Pelham 
name: Robert Clarke, Serg't. 

The following signed document indicates that John Stinson, Sten- 
son or Stevenson, the first town treasurer and father-in-law of Rev. 
Robert Abercrombie saw service in the army: 

•'(\'ol. 96, page 98, Archives.) Northampton, May 3, 1758. 

To Col. Ruggles : Please pay unto Capt Daniel Robinson our respective 
Billetting, — we being soldiers in his Company and you will oblige subscrib- 
ers. John Stinson." 

A muster roll of Capt. Samuel R.obinson's company dated April 
4, has the name of John Stevenson, Rutland, son of John Stevenson, 


age 1 8. John Stevenson appears on a list of men in South Regiment, 
Capt. Mirah's company, Col. John Worthington's regiment. 

(Page 346, Vol. 96, Archives.) "BillettingroU. List of men under 
Capt. Samuel Robinson, Col. Timothy Ruggles' regiment : John 
Stevenson, £\2 — 5s." 

John Savage, a noted citizen of Pelham from 1747 or earlier until 
about the year 1766, "Was appointed a captain of a company of 
volunteers in 1758 and served under Gen. Bradstreet in his expedi- 
tion against Fort Frontenac and under Gen. Abercrombie in the 
assault of Fort Ticonderoga." — (From Salem Book, 1896.) 

The Revolutionary War. 

The temper of the men of Pelham concerning the oppressive acts 
of Great Britain in the year just previous to the opening of the 
Revolutionary war is shown in many places on the town records, and 
all of these items of record show that all were intensely patriotic and 
outspoken concerning the oppression of the Mother Country and 
ready for any demands that might be made upon them by the Conti- 
nental Congress. There is no hint upon the records of any tories or 
tory sentiment among the people of the town. 

The following iron clad oath, though without date, was evidently 
drawn up and subscribed toby the five men whose names appear, just 
before the war broke out. Just why these five and no more should 
sign the document is without explanation, so the paper is made part 
of the history of Pelham in the Revolutionary war without attempt- 
ing to explain more than is done by the iron clad oath itself. 

■• I — A^B Truly and Sincerly acknowledge profess certify and declare 
that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is and of Right ought to be a free 
Soverign and Independant state and I do Swear that I will Bear true faith 
and allegeance to the said Commonwealth — And that I will defend the same 
against Traitorous Conspiricies and all hostile attempts whatsoever and that 
I do Renounce and objure all allegiance subjection and obedience to the 
King Queen or government of Great Brittain (as the case may be) and every 
other foreign Power whatsover. and that no foreign Prince Person Prelate 
State or Potentate hath or ought to have any Jurisdiction Superiority Pre- 
eminence authority Dispensing or other Powers in any Matter Civil Eccle- 
siastical or Spiritual within this Commonwealth except the authority 
which is or may be rested by their Constituents in Congress of the United 
States and I do further testify and declare that no man or body of men hath 
or can have any right to absolve or discharge me from the Obligations of 
this oath Declaration or Affirmation,— and that I do make this acknowl- 



edgement, Profession, testimony, Declaration, Denial, renunciation and 
obligation lieartily and truly according to the common meaning and accepta- 
tion of the foregoing words without equivocation mental evasion or secret 
reservation whatsoever. So help me God. John Rankin, 

John Haskins, 
Andrew Akercromiuk, 
Alexander Berry, 
Nath'l Sampson." 

The town responded promptly to the call for men in the spring of 
1775 and Captain David Cowden with a company composed of Pel- 
ham men was dispatched to the seat of war near Boston. The date 
of service of these men began April 19, 1775. 

To better present this service of the Pelham men the old muster 
rolls have been copied and will be reproduced so far as may be 
thotight advisable, or as fully as can be in type. 

Capt. Cowden's company was connected with Col. Benjamin 
Ruggles Woodbridge's regiment, and the date of the service is the 
earliest found. Some of the muster rolls have no date and it is impos- 
sible to fix the year of service of some of the men for that reason. 

A minute roll of the company under the command of Capt. David 
Cowden in Col. Benj'm Ruggles Woodbridge's regiment: 



Pelham Men's Names. 



Whole Amount Paid. 



£ s d Far. 

David Cowden. 





James Taylor, 




2 16—10 

El)enezer Cray, 




18 — 10— I 

Thomas Johnson, 




17 3-1 

Timothy Rice, 




[—18 7—2 

James l>arns. 


15 8 — 2 

John Alexander, 


Isaac IJennett, 


" '• " 

Wm. Fergerson, 


'• " '• 

James Harkness, 


" " '• 

John Hood, 


" " '• 

William Hunter, 


James Hill, 


John Killogg, 


" " " 

Jolin McKee. 


'• '• '■ 

James Patterson, 


•' '■ " 

Joseph Ranken, 


U ,i li 

Samuel Rush, 


'• " " 

Robert Salfrage, 



John White. 


23 7_„_, 


Time of service from April ig, 1775. 

A muster roll of the company under command of Capt. David 

Cowden in Col. Benj. Ruggles Woodbridge's regiment to the first of 

August, 1775, has the following additional names of Pelham men: 

James McCulIoch, William Gray, 

William Hays, William Haskins, 

Joshua Conkey, drummer. John Hamilton, 

Silas Conkey, lifer, Daniel Hathaway, 

Ethanon Cowing, John Kelley, 

John Cowden, John McCartney, 

James Fergerson, John White, Jun. 
David Gilmore, 

These were from enlistments in May and July mostly, most of the 
men having served more than three months. 

A return of Capt. Cowden's company was made Sept. 28, 1775 
from a point near Prospect Hill, shows all the above names save 
those of James McCulloch, David Gilmore, John Hamilton, Joshua 
Conkey and Silas C'onkey, but with the addition of Adam Patterson 
and David Green. The absence of Joshua and Silas Conkey, drum- 
mer and fifer, respectively, may be because of their transfer to some 
other company or regiment as musicians. 

Robert Salfrage or Selfridge, enlisted at the Lexington alarm as it 
is probable all of Capt. Cowden's original company did. He was a 
son of Edward Selfridge who died in Pelham in 1761, and Robert, a 
minor son, was placed under the guardianship of John Dick until he 
became of age. His service under his first enlistment was for eleven 
days. An order for Bounty Coat was dated at Prospect Hill, now 
Somerville, Nov. 13, 1775 and made payable to Capt. Cowden. He 
enlisted for another term of service Aug. 17, 1777 and is reported as 
discharged Aug. 20 of that year. He marched on alarm at Benning- 
ton. Sept. 23, 1777, he enlisted in Capt. John Thompson's com- 
pany, Col. Porter's regiment, and was discharged Oct. 17, after a 
service of one month and a day. He marched on alarm to rein- 
force the Northern army under Gen. Gates. 

Robert Selfridge was the only man of the name that served in the 
Revolutionary war from Massachusetts. The surname is spelled 
Selfridge, Selfridg, Selfrage, Sulfrage, Salfrage, Salfridg. Sometime 
after the close of the war he removed to Argyle, Washington county, 
New York. 

A muster roll of the company under Capt. Isaac Gray in Col. 
Jonathan Brewer's regiment to Aug. i, 1775. 


Isaac Gray, captain, John I3onoley, private. 

John McLem, serg't, Robert Gray, private. 

Thomas MciMullen, serg't, Andrew McGray, private, 

Alexander Conkey, Corp., John Thurston, private, 

Wm. Crossett, corp., Zebulon Richmond, private, 

James Abercromljie, private, Bartlett Roljinson, private, 

David Abercrombie, private. Thomas Thompson, private. 

James Barnes, private, Elijah Wilson, private. 

James Baker, private, Amos Whitney, private, 

Alexander Conkey, private, Jacob Conkey, private. 

These men enlisted May i, term of service three months and eight 
days, miles travelled 80, pay 6s — 8d at one penny per mile. 

In a muster roll of the Eighth regiment of the Continental Army at 
Dorchester commanded by John Fellows, the name of Timothy Rice 
of Pelham appears and the only one from that town on the roll, and 
the record shows that Rice went to Quebec with the Company to 
which he belonged ; no date is given. 

In a roll of Captain Coburn's company of Colonel Bridge's regi- 
ment dated Sept. 26, 1775. appears the name of Gardner Gould of 

William Haskins of Pelham was serving in Capt. Ezra Radlam's 
company of Colonel Gridley's regiment Oct. 8, 1775. 

At a town meeting in Pelham Dec. 31, 1776, Abizer Edson and 
Andrew Abercrombie were chosen assessors, " In room of John 
Hamilton and James Caldwell McMullen Gone to the War." Ham- 
ilton's name appears on the muster rolls but that of James Caldwell 
McMullen does not though he probably was in the service. 

A return of Capt. William Todd's company in Col. Crafts regi- 
ment of Artillery in Boston, Nov. 30, 1776, shows that David Sloan 
was in service in that company and drew pay for 83 miles' travel to 
his home in Pelham. 

An abstract of the Travel of Company commanded by Cap't. 
Reuben Dickinson of Amherst — Col. Woodbridge's regiment, to 
Ticonderoga and from thence home. 

One penny per mile per day, one day for 20 miles — in year 1776. 
Daniel .Shays, serg't. John Robinson, private, 

Alexander AlcCulloch, serg't, John Crossett, private. 

David Cowden, lieutenant, James Baker, private, 

Silas Conkey, lifer, Wm. (iillmore, private, 

John Crafford,private, Jacob Conkey, private, 

Thomas Hamilton, private, David Abercrombie, private, 

Thomas Montgomery, private, Thomas Johnston, private, 

George Elliot, private, John Kelley. private, 

John Cochran, private, Dinnis Charlton, private, 

Wm. Haskins, private, James McCotton, private. 

Wm. Blare, private, James Abercrombie, 

John Donnelly, private. 



Number of miles, 307, i penny per mile, £1 — 5s — yd, i clay for 20 
miles, £2 — 6s — od — ifar, average per man, £1 — 5s — yd, average 
amount for the whole, per man, £2 — 6s — od — ifar. 

Very little can be learned of the militia companies of Pelham pre- 
vious to the Revolution or later, as no records have been found up 
to this writing to give light upon the make up of militia companies. 
A document dated South Hadley, March 16, 1776, an"d containing a 
record of election of ofhcers for militia companies as the law directs, 
in the towns of South Hadley, Granby, Greenwich and Pelham 
the following officers were elected for the Pelham company : John 
Thompson, captain ; James Halbert, ist lieut.; John Hamilton, 
2d lieut. 

Muster Roll of Cap't. Oliver Lyman's company, in Col. Dike's 

regiment, 3 months to March, 1777, had two Pelham men on it. 

William Berry, Corp'l, 
James Harkness. 

No. miles, 90, i penny per mile, 7s — 6d, wages travelling home at 
28 miles per day, 7s — id, whole amount, 14s — 7d, time in service^ 
7 days. 

Company marched to East Hoosick on the alarm of August 17th- 
Cap't Oliver Lyman made oath to the above before Jabez Fisher^ 
Justice Peace. 

"Amherst, Mav 15, 1778. 

A return of men procured by Capt. Eli Parker to serve in the Continental 

Nehemiah Dunbar Pelham, enlisted or hired for the town of Amherst 
served under Capt. Maxwell — Col. Bangliss, — time of engament 8 months,, 
time ends Decem 1778. 
Enlisted for state of Massachusetts Bay." 

List of men mustered in the Continental Army for nine months 
services from the County of Hampshire in the State of Massachusetts. 




5 ft. 9 in. 


5 ft. 9 in. 


5 ft. 8 m. 


5 ft. join. 


5 ft. 6 in. 

Color of Hair. 



Hugh Johnson, 
James Hill, 
James Cammel, 
John Cowden, 
Amos Gray, 



Col. Porter's Capt. Thomson's. 

" South Hadley, June 17, 1778. 
Mr. Johnson-.— Sir : You are Hereby directed to march the men com- 
mitted to your care the directest Road & with convenient dispatch to Fish- 


kill and deliver them together and not suffer them to do any damage to any 
of the Inhabitants of Towns through which they may March, and they are 
herel)y directed to obey your orders on their March. 

Noah Goodman, Superintendant for the County of Hampsliire. 

12 Men in Squad: Leverett 2, So. Hadley i, Granby i, Hatfield i, Ches- 
terfield I, Northampton i, Pelham 5—12." 

In a list of men raised in the several Counties in the state of 
Massachusetts Bay for the purpose of completing the fifteen battalions 
of Continental troops to be raised in the state for the period of Nine 
Months from the time of their arrival, agreeable to the resolve of 
April 6, 1778, the name of James Camble of Pelham is enrolled. It 
may be intended for Campbell. 

The return of militia of Hampshire County who were drafted to 
march to Horse Neck under the command of Col. Sam'l How, that 
did not join the regiment, has the name of of Wm. McMullen of Pel- 
ham. He was in Cap't Thompson's company. 

There were enlistments of men for short terms of service, three, 
six and perhaps eight months, and the dates are sometime omitted ; 
among them we find a list of Pelham men — the date is indistinct and 
the record torn, — we copy all that it was possible to make out and 
the list follows : 




Isaac Bennett, 
Charles Handy, 
James Baker, 
Samuel Abercrombie, 
John Hamilton. 
Andrew McGray, 


5 ft.— 1 1 in. 

6 ft.- 

5 ft.- — 9 in. 

5 ft. 9 in. 

5 ft. 9 in. 

5 ft.— 10 in. 



In 1779, the following Pelham men were in Col. Moseley's regi- 
ment and Capt. Fowler's company serving on the Tours quota : 

William McMullen, Joseph Gray, 

David McMullen, Alexander McCulloch, 

Joel Winship, John Dart. 

Peter King, 

In the list of men received for nine months" service from Noah 
Goodman, Esq., superintendent for Hampshire county June 9, 1779, 
are the names of Pelham men as follows : 

Age. Age. 

Daniel Ranliani. black, 19 Nehemiah Dunbar, brown. 17 

Reuben Hollan, brown. 19 Nathan Richards, brown. 17 
Josiah Dunbar, light, 18 



Col. Porter's regiment ; Captain Thompson's company. 
Descriptive list of men engaged to reinforce the Continental Army 
for eight months agreeable to the resolve passed June g, 1779. 

From Pelham. 



Col. Porter's 

Capt. Thompson's 

Wm. McMullen. 
David McMullen, 

oel Winship, 

r*eter King, 
Joseph (]ray, 
Alexander McCulloch, 
John Pratt, 




6 ft.- 
6 ft.- 
5 ft.— 6 in. 
5 ft.— 7 in. 
5 ft.— 6 in. 
5 ft.— 2 in. 
5 ft. — 4 in. 



All dark complexion. 

Additional men mustered by Col. Klisha Porter, Aug. 
and furnished by the town of Pelham's selectmen July 30. 






John Coffin. 
James Conkey, 
■ ames Hill, 
^amnen Gray, 




5 ft. 6 in. 

5 ft. 6 in. 

5 ft. 6 in. 

5 ft — 10 in. 
5 ft. — 10 in. 


In the company of Captain Dwight of Belchertown were the fol- 
lowing Pelham men by record made June 22, 17S0. 





Wm. McFall. 


5 ft.— 7 in. 


Christopher Stevenson, 


5 ft.— II in. 

Benjamin Edson. 


5 ft. — 1 1 in. 


James Cowan, 


5 ft. — II in. 


Eziah Baker, 


4 ft.— 10 in. 


Howard Alden, 


5 ft. 4 in. 


Micah Pratt. 

5 ft.— 10 in. 


John Stevens, 



_ onathan Ingraham, 


5 ft. 6 in. 


The eleventh division of six months men marched from Spring- 
field under or with Ensign Bancroft, July 11, 1780, and George 
Hacket of Pelham was on the rolls, probably as a private. 

The 29th division of six months men marched from Springfield 
July 26, 1780, and Joel Winship" of Pelham, 21 years old and of 
ruddy complexion marched with them. 

In the 41st division of six months' men who marched from Spring- 
field Oct. 26, 1780 under Lieut. Cary was Peter King of Pelham, — 
light complexion, 5 ft. 10 in. in height. 



The 39th division of six months" men marched from Springfield 
under Knsign Simonds Sept. 7, 1780. In it was William lialdwin of 
Pelhani, described as of dark complexion, 5 ft. 8 in. high and 30 
years old. 

John Harkness of Pelham. 20 years old, 5 ft. 11 in. high and dark 
complexion, marched from Springfield with the 4olh division of six 
months' men October 1780. 

According to a Resolve of the (general Court, Oct. 5, 1781, 
empowering the selectmen to make out pay rolls for the six months 
from the year 1780, the following roll was submitted: 

John Hamilton marched to camp June 25 ; discharged Dec. 25. 

Steven Perin, marched to camp Aug. 7 : discharged Feb. 7. 

Peter Kmg, marched to camp Aug. 2 ; discharged Feb. 2. 

Charles Kundy, marched to camp, June 31 ; discharged Dec. 31. 

John Racket, marched to camp June 6; discharged Dec. 6. 

Abner Smith, marched to camp July 30 ; discharged Jan. 30. 

Seth Wood, marched to camp July 10 ; discharged Jan. 10. 

George Hacket, marched to camp July 10: discharged Jan. 10. 

John Harkness, marched to camp Sept. 20: discharged Dec. 15. 

James Baker, marched to camp June 25 : discharged Dec. 25. 

Isaac Bennett, marched to camp June 25 ; discharged Dec. 25. 

Andrew McCiray, marched to camp June 9 ; discharged Dec. 9. 

Samuel Abercrombie, marched to camp July 9; discharged Dec. 9. 

Amos Bran, marched to camp June 25 ; discharged Dec. 25. 

Joel Winship, supposed to be deserted. 

Whole time of service, 6 months, 8 days; number of miles from 

home, 160; total amount of wages, £\2 — los — 8d. 

The original sworn to before William Conkey, town clerk. 

From record of town meeting at Pelham, March 1783 : " Voted to 

Amos Bran thirty pounds for his serving the town as a soldier in the 

war for three years or during the war. — Abram Livermore, In behalf 

of the Selectmen." 

Pay-roll for the wages and traveling allowance of Capt. Oliver 

Coney's company, Colonel Sears' regiment of levies raised for the 

Continental service for three months. Captain Coney was from 

Ware. Men from Pelham : 

Joshua Conkey, Samuel Crosselt, 

Ezekiel Conkey, Calo Dansett. 

Daniel Sampson. John AIcKlurn. 
Edward Brown. 

These men enlisted |^Aug. \2. 1781 and were discharged Nov. 15. 

Pay, ;^6— 3s— 4d. 


A return of men belonging to the town of Pelham in the Conti- 
nental Army for three years or during the war, January 1781. 

Robert Conkey, enlisted Jan. 30., 1777; enlisted by Lieut. Taylor in 2d 

Mass. regiment, Capt. Drew's company. 
George Eliot, enlisted Mar. 15, 1780; enlisted by Lieut. Taylor in 2d Mass. 

regiment, Capt. Alden's company. 
Nehemiah Dunbar, enlisted Mar. 15, 1780; enlisted by Lieut. Taylor in 2d 

Mass. regiment, Capt. Alden's company. 
Nathaniel Richmond, enlisted Dec. '79 ; enlisted by Capt. Howard in 2d 

Mass. regiment Capt. Alden's company. 
Amos Bryant, enlisted Jan. 13, '81 : enlisted by Col. Greaton in 3d Mass. 

regiment, Capt. Alden's company. 
Wm. Haskins, enlisted Nov. 12, '79; enlisted by Lt.-Col. Newhall in 5th 

Mass. regiment, Capt. Trotter's company. 
John Pratt, enlisted Nov. 23, '79; enlisted by Calvin Sawyer in 51)1 Mass. 

regiment, Capt. Trotter's company. 
Dan'l McDaniel enlisted May '79; enlisted by Lt. Lunt in 71)1 ALass. regi- 
ment, Capt. Trotter's company. 

A list bearing date 1781 has the following names of Pelham men : 

Bartlett Robinson, time of engagement Mar. 27, age 28, complexion dark, 

stature 6 ft. 3in., occupation farmer. 
Abijah Bruce, time of engagement Mar. 27, age 45. complexion dark, 

stature 5 ft. 7 in., occupation farmer. 
Joseph (ranson, time of engagement April 11, age 20. complexion light, 

stature, 5 ft. 10 in., occupation farmer. 
Joseph Lamb, time of engagement April 6, age 18, complexion light, stature 

5 ft. 5 in., occupation farmer. 
Isaac Bennett, time of engagement April 20, age 22. complexion light, 

stature 5 ft. 10 in., occupation farmer. 
James Hill, time of engagement May 15, age 48. complexion light, stature 

5 ft. 1 1 in., occupation farmer. 
Wm. Cando, time of engagement April 27, age 27, complexion black, stature 

5 ft. 5 in., occupation farmer. 
James Baker, time of engagement May 15, age 24, complexion light, stature 

5 ft. 4 in., occupation farmer. 
John Atkinson, time of engagement May 14, age 46, complexion light, 

stature 5 ft., occupation farmer. 
Ebenezer Searls, time of engagement April 10. age 32, complexion light 

stature 6 ft. 2 in., occupation doctor. 

These men enlisted for three years. 

" Pelham, April 5, 1781. 
This may certify that the subscribers have Inlisted to serve Three years 
in the Continental .Service for the town of Pelham & also we have Rec'd 


Ninety l^ounds in liard money as a hire for s'^' service — We say received by 

Jamks Bakkk. AiujAH Bruce, Joski'h Lamu, Joseph Ganson, Isaac 

James Baker was discharged by Gen. Washington, June 9, 1783, 
Baker having procured a man to serve in his place. 

•' In obedience to the deneral Court Act of Dec 1780 we have raised & 
marched the quota of men sent for accordingto the Schedule in s"" order and 
these are the names of the men raised as folows with the sum annexed to 
each mans name (liven to him as Hier or Bounty in Hard Money. 

Abijah Bruce £s)o, James Baker ^90, Joseph Ganson /90, Isaac Bennett 
^90, David Cowden ^98 — 8s, Bartlett Robinson ^90, 'Ebeneser Saris ^80. 

Whole amount ^6S6 — Ss— o. 

This to certify that the Selectmen appeared before me and gave oath to 
this return. Ebenezer Gray, Town Clerk. 

Felham, Jan. 12, 17S1."' 

" Pelham, April 18, 1781. 

Then Received of the class of Mr. Benjamin Edsons the sum of ,^^78 — 8s 
for serving in the Continental Service for three years for said class. 

I say Received by me, David Cowden. 

Receipts from Bartlett Robinson and Ebenezer Saris for the money are 
on file." 

Return of men enlisted or Drafted into the Continental Army from the 
Fourth battalion of militia in the county of Hampshire from Pelham. 

Isaac Bennett, enlisted in Capt. Shay's company, Col. Putnam's battalion. 
Bartlett Robinson, enlisted in Capt. Shay's company, Col. Putnam's battalion. 
James McDaniel, enlisted in Capt. Shay's company, Col. Putnam's battalion. 
Jacob Turrell, enlisted in Capt. Shay's company. Col. Putnam's battalion. 
James Baker, enlisted in Capt. Shay's company, Col. Putnam's battalion. 
Job Ransom, enlisted in Capt. Maxwell's company. Col. Bayley's battalion. 
Robert Conkey, enlisted in Capt. Maxwell's company, Col. Bayley's battalion. 
Cato — Negro, enlisted in Capt. Maxwell's company. Col. Bayley's battalion. 
Daniel McDaniel, enlisted Capt. Day's company. Col. Alden's battalion. 
James Conkey, enlisted in Capt. Millington's company. Col. Wigglesworth's 

Joseph Rankin, enlisted in Capt. Maxwell's company. Col. Bayley's battalion. 
Patrick McMullen, enlisted in Capt. Maxwell's company, Col. Bayley's 

William Conkey, enlisted in Capt. Maxwell's company. Col. Bayley's 

John McRankin. enlisted in Capt. Maxwell's company. Col. Bayley's 

John Prebble, enlisted in Capt. Maxwell's company. Col. Bayley's battalion. 



No date to the above return. Moses Ransom was also in the ser- 
vice, but perhaps not in this battahon. These men enlisted from 
Capt. Thomas' company. 

In a list of men without officers names, or date, but including men 

from Western Mass. the following list of men from Pelham are given : 

Isaac Bennett, Joel Winship, 

Charles Handy, John Racket, 

James Baker, Amos Brand, 

Samuel Abercrombie, William Baldwin, 

John Hamilton, John Harkness, 

Andrew McGray, Seth Ward. 

The Surname, Abercrombie, is spelled variously on the old muster 
rolls, viz.: Abercrombie, Abercromney, Abecrombey, Abercumby, 
Abercrombee, Abercromby, Abicrombey, Abercrumbe, Abercrome, 
Crombe, Ebercrombie. The common pronunciation in Pelham 60 
years ago was the same as though the name was spelled Crummy, 
the first two syllables (Aber) were dropped entirely except when 

A muster roll to draw billiting money for a company of militia 

under the command of Capt. Elijah Dwight of Belchertown, which 

included the following Pelham men, — no date. 

John Thompson, lieutenant, Abraham Livermore, 

Asa iMcConkey, drummer, Mathew Clark, 

Daniel Gray, John Pebles, 

James Crossett, Adam Clark, 

Eliot Gray, Isaac Craford. 

Elijah Dwight, captain. These men were paid 14s each for 168 
miles travel at one penny per mile. 

Capt. Joshua Parker's company, Col. Nathaniel Ward's regiment. 

At service in Rhode Island. No date : 

James Harkness, corporal, Peter King, private, 

Thomas Harlow, private, John Harkness, private. 

Nathaniel Gray, father of " Cooper " John Gray, and grandfather 
of Horace Gray of Northampton and of Nathaniel Gray of San Fran- 
cisco, deceased, is said to have died in the service at 32 but in what 
company or regiment is not known. 

Pelham Men in the \\^a.r of 18 12. 

The records of the service in the war of 1812 101815 ^^^ ^^^ 
easily accessible. On enquiring at the State House one is referred 
to Washington, D. C, and no satisfying results are obtained as a 
reward for diligent and painstaking effort at the capital. 


Not very many Pelham men were called out for service in the war of 
18 1 2, and those who were called out did not see much active service. 
The few that were called marched from Pelham to Cambridge where 
they were in camp or quartered for some time. The writer used to 
listen to the tales some of those men told of their experience during 
the time they were serving their country while in camp at Cambridge 
and they were not tales of suffering and fatigue from long marches 
and other hard service, but rather of jolly times in camp while 
awaiting marching orders which never came. All returned home in 
a few weeks or months at most as there was no further need of men 
in active service. 

One or two of these stories may not be out of place here. Leonard 
EalloLi, one of the Pelham militia that was called out by the war of 
18 1 2, marched to Cambridge with others and was probably no worse 
than others in raiding the country along the line of march for sup- 
plies. Toward morning of one night of the march to Cambridge the 
crowing of a cock in a large apple tree near a farm house attracted 
the attention of some of the young men and a plan formed to get the 
rooster. It was pretty dark and not easy to see just where in the 
tree the bird was. Two cider barrels that were found under the tree 
were used by placing one on the top of the other, and Ballou was 
lifted to the top of the two barrels standing on end and he quietly 
waited for the rooster to crow again so that he might locate him. 
After awaiting in silence for some time the rooster started to crow 
again as in duty bound to usher in daylight in the east. The bird 
was within reach and Ballou seized him by the neck cutting off the 
clarion notes with a strangled sound caused by the grip, about its 
neck, of Ballou's right hand. In the effort made in seizing the 
rooster, the cider barrels canted sideways and Ballou and the barrels 
came to the ground, but he held fast to the rooster. 

Uncle Eseck Cook, the Quaker, was a non-combatant in principle, 
but he took pity on young Ballou in being suddenly ordered to march 
to Cambridge, and loaned his long gray overcoat to him. Ballou 
accepted the offer of the coat and wore it when the weather demanded 
it and sometimes when it did not. The coat came down nearly to 
his ankles and was ample in size and Ballou found it very convenient 
and useful to hide an occasional fish from a peddlar's wagon that 
came to camp, when opportunity offered by the peddlar's attention 
being drawn aside. The folds of the long coat hid many things dur- 


ing the stay at Cambridge and was returned to Uncle Eseck when 

the Pelham contingent arrived home, and young Ballou thanked him 

for the loan, at the same time telling how handy he found it to secrete 

things the soldiers needed. Uncle Eseck was thunder-struck, but his 

only remark was : '' I think it would have been better if thee had not 

had the coat." 

The following list of Pelham men is all we have been able to 

obtain of those who were called out at that time. There may have 

been more but the inability to reach the muster rolls makes it useless 

to claim a full and complete list. The names and rank were as 

follows : 

Capt. John Taylor, and privates Leonard Ballou. 

John T. Conkey. Sidney H annum. 

Grove W. H annum, Henry H annum. 

Luther Lincoln. Luther Thompson, 

James Smith, Joseph Barrows. 
Amasa Jillson. 

Capt. John Taylor was in command on the march from Pelham to 


Thk Mexican War. 

The Mexican war was not a long one and very few men from 
Massachusetts were called out for service then, and so far as can be 
learned no Pelham man saw service in Mexico. 

Record, OF Pelham Soldiers ix the Rebellion. 

The record of the town in its contribution of men and means for 
the suppression of the great rebellion of 1861 to 1865 is an honor- 
able one. The population of the town in i860 was 748 and the val- 
uation $162,635. T'"'^ number of men between the ages of 18 and 
45 on the rolls for military duty in 1861 was only 100. Seventy- 
five men were contributed to the great work of saving the country 
from destruction by those who had risen up in arms against it, and 
most of them by voluntary enlistment, or five more than the town 
was called upon to send. 

In common with many other towns in the state it was found 
impossible to fill by enlistment the quotas of men called for by the 
state authorities with as much celerity as the need of men demanded, 
and there was a draft from the enrolled militia in 1863 of 20 men, a 
list of them being given in full. Of this number seven pas.sed exami- 


nation and were accepted. Two of the seven went to the front and 
the other five paid $300 commutation money and remained at home. 
In 1864 the draft was resorted to again, when ten of the enrolled 
men were drawn ; hve were declared ht for military duty and each 
paid $300 commutation money, and the other five were exempted, or 
failed to appear for reasons unknown or not fully shown by the town 

The enlistments and service of Pelham men in the war of the 
rebellion are given in the order of enlistment as gathered from the 
rebellion record kept by the town and from regimental histories, the 
Adjutant General's report, and other reliable sources. 

The first enlistment from the town was that of Joseph PYeeland 
Bartlett, born in Ware, July 25, 1843. He enlisted in the 10th 
Massachusetts regiment June 21, 1861, and served with that regi- 
ment three years, when, having re -enlisted, he was transferred to the 
37th Massachusetts regiment, and in June, 1865, was transferred to 
the 20th regiment, from which he was discharged July 28, 1865, 
having served continuously at the front during the entire war, with 
the exception of three months when he was in the hospital with 
wounds. He was promoted 2d lieutenant, 37th Massachusetts regi- 
ment, May 24, 1865; ist lieutenant, 20th Massachusetts regiment, 
June I, 1865. He participated in ^3 of the great battles of the war. 
including all the battles around Richmond in 1862, Antietam, Fred- 
ericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Sheridan's bat- 
tles in the Shenandoah valley. Petersburg, Sailor creek, and Appo- 
mattox at the surrender of Lee. He was also with the 6th army 
corps in North Carolina when Johnson surrendered to Sherman. 
He was slightly wounded in the battle of Fair Oaks and severely at 
battle of the Wilderness. 

Manley Jillson, 45, born in Pelham, enlisted as a private June 21, 
1861, mustered into loth Mass. regiment, Company C, for three 
years June 21, 1861 ; discharged for disability Nov. 29, 1862. 

Henry E. Wheeler, 26, born in Pelham, enlisted as a private Sept. 
21, 186 1, mustered into the 27th Mass. regiment Sept. 30, 1861 
for three years, Company G ; discharged July 29, 1862. 

Solomon Rhoads, 18, born in Pelham, enlisted September 1861 as 
a private, was mustered into the 27th Mass. regiment, Sept. 20, 
1861 for three years. Company I; discharged Dec. 24, 1863 to 


re-enlist; mustered in the second time Dec. 24, 1863, discharged 
June 26, 1865, at expiration of service. 

George A. Griffin, 20, born in Pelham, enlisted Sept. 29, 1861, 
mustered into 27th Mass. regiment, Company G, Sept. 29, 1861 for 
three years; term of service expired Sept. 27, 1864. 

Charles Griffin, 35, born in Pelham, enlisted Sept. 30, 1861, mus- 
tered into 27th Mass. regiment, Company C, for three years ; dis- 
charged Sept. 4, 1862. Enlisted again July 11, 1864 in the Third 
Heavy Artillery. Received $175 bounty from the town, discharged 
[uly 27. 1864, at Gallops Island on surgeon's certiticate of disability. 

Otis B. Griffin, 23, born in Pelham, enlisted Oct. 11, 1861, was 
mustered into 27th Mass. regiment. Company G. for three years, Oct. 
II, 1861 ; discharged Aug. 29, 1862. 

Erastus S. Southwick, 40, born in Pelham, enlisted Oct. 8, 1861, 
mustered into 27th Mass. regiment Oct. 15, 1861, Company G, for 
three years ; discharged July 29, 1862. 

Stephen Rhoads, 28, born in Pelham, enlisted Oct. 21, 1861, mus- 
tered into 31st Mass. regiment, Company C, for three years, Oct. 
21, 1861 ; discharged on surgeon's certificate of disability at New 
Orleans, April 18, 1864. No bounty. 

Francis A. Blodgett, 22, was mustered into the 31st Mass. regi- 
ment. Company C, Nov. 20, 1861 ; he was discharged that he might 
re-enlist Feb. 14, 1864. He was a sergeant, discharged Sept. 9, 
1865 at expiration of service. Bounty S423.33. Record says New 
Salem was place of residence. 

Charles R. Cleveland, 41, born in Pelham, enlisted Oct. 21, 1861, 
mustered into 31st Mass. regiment, Company F, for three years, Oct. 
21, 1861 ; transferred to Veterans' Relief Corps April 20, 1864. 

William S. Pratt, 43, enlisted from Pelham in 31st INIass. regi- 
ment, Company C, or was credited to the town, was mustered in 
Oct. 21, 1861 ; deserted Dec. 7, i86i. No bounty. 

Sanford M. Lovett, 55, born in Cumberland, R. L, enlisted Nov. 
I, i85i, mustered into 31st Mass. regiment. Company F, for three 
years as a private Nov. i, 186 1 ; discharged Nov. 18, 1862 for dis- 
ability. The Adjutant Generals' report says he was 44 when he 
enlisted, but 55 is believed to be his right age at that time. 

Harrison L. Horr, 19, born in Pelham, enlisted Nov. 4, r86i, mus- 
tered into 31st Mass. regiment. Company F, as a private, for three 
years, Nov. 4, 1861 ; discharged Dec. 20, 1864, at New Orleans, his 
term of service having expired. He held the rank of sergeant. 

360 msroKV OF PEI.HAM, MASS. 

Charles H. Horr, 26, born in Pelham, enlisted Nov. 22, 1861, 
mustered into the 31st Mass. regiment, Company F, as a private for 
three years, died at New Orleans Dec. 7, 1864 from wounds received 
in the service. He was first sergeant of his company. The town 
record says that Horr enlisted Nov. 22, 1861, and the Adjutant 
Generals' report states that he was mustered in Oct. 22. 

John Shaw, 40, born in Granby, enlisted Aug. 9, 1862, as a 
private in 27th Mass. regiment, was not sent to the front; dis- 
charged in a few days. Received $100 bounty from town, lived in 
town until his death. 

Otis B. Hill, born in , enlisted Aug. g, 1862 as a private 

in the 27th Mass. regiment, was not sent to the front : discharged 
in a few days. Received $100 bounty from the town. 

Patrick Bailey, born in Ballybane, County of Cork, Ireland, enlist- 
ed Aug. 9, 1862, as a private for three years, mustered into the 27th 
Mass. regiment Dec. 21, 1863 ; discharged June 15, 1865, by order 
War department. Received $ico bounty from the town. 

Henry ISarrows, 22, born in Pelham, enlisted for three years, Aug. 
9, 1862, as a private in the 27th Mass. regiment, did not go to the 
front; discharged Aug. 29, 1862. Received $100 bounty from the 

Otis Kimball, 21, born in , enlisted as a private Aug. 9, 

1862, for three years, mustered into the 27th Mass. regiment, Com- 
pany H, Aug. 26, 1862 ; discharged July 2, 1863, for disability. Re- 
ceived $100 bounty from the town. 

Franklin Bramble, 35, born in enlisted Aug. 9, 1862, for three 

years as a private, mustered into the 27th Mass, regiment. Company 
K, Aug. 29, 1862 ; discharged to re-enlist Jan. i, 1864, mustered 
second time Jan. 2. 1864; term expired June 26, 1865. Received 
$100 bounty from the town. 

John F. Nichols, 22, born in enlisted as a private for three 

years, Aug. 8, (862, mustered into the 27th Mass. regiment, Com- 
pany I), Aug. II, 1862 ; discharged Dec. 31, 1863, at Norfolk, Va. 
Re-enlisted, discharged Dec. 31, 1863, at Annapolis Md. June 15, 
1865; was in Libby prison 18 days. Received Si 00 bounty from 
the town. 

Joseph I). Whitney, 25, born in Fast Boylston, enlisted as a pri- 
vate, for three years, Aug. 25, 1862, mustered into the 27th Mass. 
regiment Company I, Aug. 25, 1862 ; discharged June 23, 1863. at 


New Berne, N. C. for physical disability. Received $ioo bounty from 
the town. 

Joseph E. Boynton, 18, born in Pelhain, enlisted as a private, for 
three years, Aug. 25, 1862, mustered in Aug, 25, 1862, died at 
Baltimore, Md. Dec. 4, 1864. Received $100 bounty from the town. 

Frederick Dane. 24, born in Pelham, enlisted for three years as a 
private, unassigned, mustered in Aug. 25, 1862, and was discharged 
Sept. 10, 1862, at Camp Day for disability. Received $roo from 
the town. 

Stillman Abercrombie, 32, born in Pelham, enlisted as a musician 
Aug 27, 1862, for nine months in Company G, 5 2d Mass. regiment, 
mustered in Oct. 11, 1862, regiment started for Louisiana in Nov- 
ember 1862, returned to Massachusetts Aug. 3, 1863 ; discharged 
Aug. 14, 1863. Received $100 bounty from the town. 

Joseph D. Allen, 18, born in Pelham, enlisted as a private, Sept.. 
I, 1862, for nine months, was mustered into the 52d Mass. regiment. 
Company G, Oct. 11, 1862, left Massachusetts for Louisiana Nov. 20,. 
1862, regiment returned to the state Aug. 3, 1863 ; discharged Aug. 
14, 1863. Received $100 bounty from the town. 

Dexter R. Barnes, 19, born in Pelham, enlisted as a private Aug. 
27, 1862, for nine months service, was mustered into the 52d regi- 
ment, Company G, Oct. 11, 1862, the regiment marched for Louis- 
iana, Nov. 20, 1862, did not return until Aug. 3, 1863 ; discharged 
Aug. 14, 1863. Received $100 bounty from the town. 

William P. Montgomery, 30, born in J^nfield, enlisted Aug. 22,. 
1862, as a private for nine months, was mustered into the 52d 
Mass. regiment, Company G, Oct. 11, 1862, regiment marched for 
Louisiana Nov. 20, 1862, returned Aug. 3, 1863 ; discharged Aug. 
14, 1S64. Received a bounty of $100 from the town. Re-enlisted 
Sept. 3, 1864, in the First regiment Heavy Artillery, mustered in 
Sept. 3, i864, mustered out June 4, 1865, at expiration of service. 
Received $450 bounty. 

Charles H. Sanger, t8, born in Pelham, enlisted as a private for 
nine months, mustered into the 52d Mass. regiment. Company G, 
Aug. I I, 1862, marched south with the regiment Nov. 20, 1863, re- 
turned Aug. 3, 1862 ; mustered out Aug. 16, 1863. Received $100 
bounty from the town. 

Amos D. Leonard, 28, born in Minerva, N. Y., enlisted as a priv- 
ate for nine months, Sept. 3, 1862, mustered into the 52d Mass. regi- 


ment, Company G, Oct. 11, 1862, went with the regiment to Louis- 
iana, Nov. 20, 1862, returned Aug. 14, 1863; mustered out Aug. 
14, 1863. Received $100 l)ounty from the town. Flis last known 
residence was in Minnesota. 

Daniel Cook, 32, born in I'elham, enlisted as a private for nine 
months, Aug. 27, 1862, mustered into the 52d Mass. regiment. Com- 
pany G, Oct. II, 1862, was made corporal, went south with the regi- 
ment, Nov. 20, 1862 returned Aug. 3, 1863 ; mustered out Aug. 14, 

1863. Received $100 bounty from the town. 

Edmund S. EUsbree, ig. born in Pelham, enlisted Sept. i, 1862, 
as a private for nine months, mustered into the 52d Mass. regiment. 
Company G, Oct. 11, 1862, sailed for Louisiana, Nov. 20, 1862, 
returned Aug. 3, 1863 ; mustered out Aug. 20, 1863. Received $100 
bounty from the town. 

Amaziah Robinson, 38, born in Jamaica, Vt., enlisted as a private 
for nine months Aug. 24, 1862, mustered into the 52d Mass. regiment, 
Company G, Oct. 11, 1862, went with the regiment to Louisiana, 
returned Aug. 3, 1863 ; mustered out Aug. 1 1, 1863. Received $100 
bounty from the town. Has resided in Pelham since the war. 

Nelson Witt, 29, born in North Dana, enlisted as a private for 
nine months, Aug. 30, 1862, mustered into the 5 2d Mass. regiment, 
Company G, Oct. 11, 1862, went with the regiment to Louisiana, 
Nov. 20, 1862, was wounded at L-ish Bend, lived to come back Aug. 
3, 1863. Died at Belchertown. Received $100 bounty from the 

Thomas Linds, 40, born at enlisted June 2, 1863, for three 

years, mustered into the Second Heavy Artillery, Company A, July 
28, 1863 ; discharged Sept 3, 1865, at expiration of service. 

James D. Mower, 20, born at l^rattleboro Vt. was drafted in 1863, 
Examined and excepted, mustered into the 22d Mass. regiment, 
July, 20, 1863, Company L transferred to 32d Mass. regiment, Oct. 6. 

1864, Company M ; company was mustered out when Mower was at 
home on a furlough in the spring of 1865. 

Joel Cutting, 31, born at East Boylston, drafted in 1863, exam- 
ined and accepted, mustered into the 32nd Mass. regiment. Company 
B, Sept. 14, 1863 ; mustered out June i. 1865, by order of \\'ar 

John O. Rhoads, 22, born in Pelham, enlisted as a private Dec. 1, 
1863, for three years, in First Regiment Heavy Artillery, Company 
I, mustered in Dec. i, 1863. discharged Aug. 5 1865. 


George A. Gardner, 24, born in enlisted Dec. i, 1863, 

for three years as a private, mustered into the 4th Mass. cavahy, Jan, 
27, 1864, Company E; mustered out Nov. 14, 1865, at expiration of 
service. IJounty $325. 

George W. Allen, 44, born in enlisted Dec. 7, 1863 as a 

private for three years, mustered into the ist Mass. Heavy Artillery, 
Company I, Dec. 7, 1863. Died of wounds Oct. 29, 1864 at Peters- 
burg, Va. 

Truman Squares, 18, born in Shutesbury, enlisted Dec. 21, 1863, 
as a private for three years, in 57th Mass. Infantry, Company B, 
mustered in Jan. 24, 1864. Killed at Spottsylvania, May 7, 1864. 
Bounty $325. 

Thomas Fergerson, 32, born in ■ enlisted as a private for 

three years, Dec. 26, 1863, musteredinto the 4th Mass. Cavalry regi- 
ment, Company E, Jan. 27, 1864; mustered out Nov. 14, 1865 at 
expiration of service. Bounty $325. 

Garrett O'Neal, 22, born in Northampton, enlisted for three years 
as a private, Dec. 28, 1863, mustered into the 27th Mass. regiment. 
Company G. 

Philander Pike, 38, born in Petersham, enlisted as a private for 
three years, mustered into the 27th Mass. regiment, Company 1, 
Jan. 5, 1864; discharged Dec. 7, 1864. Bounty $325. 

Simeon Gilbert, 42, born in enlisted for three years as 

a private, mustered into the 2d Mass. Heavy Artillery, Company G, 
Dec. 7, 1863. Died July 29, 1864, at Andersonville, Ga. Bounty, 


William O. Kimball, 23, born in Amherst, enlisted in ist Mass. 
regiment Heavy Artillery for three years, July 11, 1864, mustered into 
Company I, July 11,1864. Discharged April 2, 1865. Bounty$325. 

Charles A. Abbott, 18, born in Wilbraham, enlisted in ist regi- 
ment Heavy Artillery, Company C, mustered in Aug. i, 1864; dis- 
charged Aug. 16, 1865, at expiration of service, in Company M. 
Bounty $325. 

George E. Witherell, 22, born in enlisted in ist regi- 
ment Heavy Artillery, Company I, mustered in Sept. 3, 1864; dis- 
charged June 4, 1865 at expiration of service. Bounty $181.32. 

Henry \A'ood, 31, born in ■ enlisted in ist regiment Heavy 

Artillery, Company H; discharged March 13, 1864, to re-enlist. 


mustered in March 14, 1864; discharged April i, 1865 for disabiUty. 
Bounty $421.99. 

Madison L. Fales, 18, born in Pelham, enlisted for three years in 
Company C, ist regiment Heavy Artillery, mustered in Sept. 7, 1864. 
Died March 31, 1865. Bounty $234. 

Norman S. Fales, 19, born in Pelham, enlisted in First regiment 
Heavy Artillery, Company C, for three years, mustered in Sept. 7 
1864, died Dec. iS, 1864, in the 2d Corps hospital. Bounty $181. 

Frederick Grover. iS. born in enlisted in First regiment 

Heavy Artillery, Company C, for three years, mustered in Sept. 7, 
1864 ; discharged June 4, 1865, at expiration of service. $125 town 

Dennis V. Champlin, 23, born in Amherst, enlisted for three years 
in the 54th Mass. regiment, transferred to the 55th regiment. Com- 
pany B, mustered in Dec. 28, 1864 ; discharged Aug. 26, 1865, at 
expiration of service. 

Joseph R. Hunt, 23, musician, mustered into 46th regiment. 
Company H, October, 1862 ; dischargedfor disability, Jan. 14. 1863. 

Levi G. Osborn, 38, mustered into 52d Mass. regiment Oct. 11, 
1862 ; discharged Aug. 14, 1863. 

William B. Fales, 30, born in Pelham, mustered into 52d Mass. 
regiment, Aug. 27, 1862 ; was in the battles of Oak Ridge, Irish 
Bend and the siege of Port Hudson; discharged Aug. 14, 1863. 

Lauriston Barnes, enlisted as a private Aug. 29, 1862, mustered 
into the 52d regiment. Company G. Oct. 11, 1862 ; discharged Aug. 
14, 1863. 

Murray B. Lovett, 22, born in Pelham, mustered into loth regi- 
ment. Company K, June 21, 1861 ; died June 4, 1862, at Fair Oaks, 

William Jones, 19, mustered into the ist Infantry, March 8. 1865. 
Bounty $325. 

The number credited to the town by the re-enlistments of Joseph 
F. Bartlett, John T. Nichols, Wm. P. Montgomery, Franklin Bramble, 
Francis A. Blodgett, Solomon Rhoads, Charles Griffin and Henry 
Wood carries the number up to 6g. After the draft in June, 1864 
there were five or six enlistments made in Boston, near the close of 
the war, of men who probably did not go to the front and whose 
names are not known, making 75 men that the town should have 
credit for, or rive men above all calls made upon the town. 


The men were distributed among various military organizations. 
Mass. 27th regiment, i6; 52d regiment, 13 ; ist Heavy Artillery 10; 
31st regiment, 7 ; loth regiment, 3 ; 2d Heavy Artillery, 3 ; 3d Heavy 
Artillery, 2 ; 4th Calvary, 2 ; 37th regiment, i ; 20th regiment, i ; 46th 
regiment, i ; 55th regiment, i ; 57th regiment, i ; besides those who 
were unassigned. We are indebted to Rev. John Jones, who was 
chairman of the recruiting committee during the war, for valuable 
aid in perfecting the roll of Pelham men who served in the army; 
many of whom he enlisted and took to the recruiting officers, and 
personally attended to the collection of bounty money for them. 


The Shays Rebellion of 1786-87. 

The rebellion against the government of the state of Massachusetts 
in 1786—87, whose acknowledged leader was Capt. Daniel Shays, a 
citizen of Pelham, makes it necessary to give a more extended notice 
of this insurgent outbreak than would be necessary in writing the 
local history of almost any other town in the state, as it was here the 
leading spirit, that gave the rebellion its name resided as a respected 
citizen, who was honored by election to positions of trust and 
responsibility. It was at the old Conkey tavern in the " Hollow" 
that he met the dissatisfied turbulent spirits who were weighed down 
with debts and numerous other real or imagined grievances, and 
discussed the situation before the wide open fire places of the 
hostelry, and when protracted argument and excitement caused thirst, 
they quenched it by sampling the well assorted liquors which Land- 
lord Conkey was noted for keeping in his cellar. 

Shays doubtless enjoyed the good cheer as well as any who gath- 
ered there with him to talk over their mutual troubles ; he joined with 
them in charging the State with oppression; was as ready as they to 
declare for the removal of the General Court from the City of Bos- 
ton ; — to shout down with the lawyers ; to demand the abolition of the 
courts ; to cry for a revision of the constitution and to clamor for 
paper money and other things which they may have honestly believed 
were necessary for the relief of the people. And as the excite- 
ment increased and the mutterings of the people turned to open 
threats of opposition by force of arms, the experience of Capt. Shays 
as a soldier became of value in organizing and drilling the men in 
the manual of arms. 

It must be conceded that the people were in much distress from 
the pressure of hard times and honestly believed they were oppressed 
with grievances unbearable ; but it is by no means certain that they 
had any intention at the beginning of the agitation to take up arms 
against the state. They must have believed it perfectly proper to 
gather in conventions for consultation, for the nineteenth article of 


the Constitution of Massachusetts declares : " The people have a 
right, in, an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble to consult for 
the common good ; give instructions to their representatives, and to 
request of the legislative body, by way of addresses, petitions or 
remonstrances, redress for the wrongs done them, and the grievances 
they suffer ; " Certainly the earlier conventions were not to be con- 
sidered disorderly, but seem to have been conducted " in an orderly 
and peaceable manner ". These conventions for the consideration 
of " grievances "' began to be held in Western Massachusetts as 
early as 1781 or before the close of the war of the Revolution, but 
these gatherings did not attract much attention until the summer of 
1786. This course would seem to have been a proper one for the 
people to bring the attention of the General Court to whatever real 
grievances the people were suffering under. Doubtless these con- 
ventions became less peaceable and orderly as the unrest and discon- 
tent increased under the leadership of rash and unscrupulous men 
who joined the movement, until the people found themselves with 
arms in their hands in rebellion against the constituted government 
of the state. 

One of the most important conventions held, as the people believed 
under a constitutional right, for the redress of grievances, was held 
at Hatfield August 22, 1786. Fifty towns of Hampshire county 
were represented and the convention was continued for three days, 
Caleb Keith and Mathew Clark being delegates from Pelham. 

They first " Voted, that this Meeting is Constitutional. " The 
further action of the convention is given with list of grievances. 

" The Convention from a thorough conviction of great uneasiness, 
subsisting among the people of this county and Commonwealth, 
then went into an inquiry for the cause ; and upon mature consider- 
ation, deliberation and debate, were of the opinion that many griev- 
ances and unnecessary burdens now lying upon the people, are the 
sources of that discontent so evidently discoverable throughout this 
Commonwealth. Among which the following articles were voted as 
such : 

" ist. The existence of the Senate. 

2nd. The present mode of representation. 

3rd. The officers of Government not being annually dependant on the 
representatives of the people, in General Court assembled, for their saleries. 

4th. All the Civil Officers of Government, not being annually elected by 
the people in General Court assembled. 


Stb. The existence of tlie Court of Common Pleas, and General Sessions 
of the Peace. 

6th. The Fee Table as it now stands. 

7th. The present mode of Appropriating the import and 

8th. The unreasonable grants made to .some of the officers of the Gov- 

9th. The Supplementary Aid. 

loth. The present mode of paying government securities. 

nth. The present mode adopted for the payment and speedy collection 
of the last state tax. 

12th. The present mode of taxation as it operates unequally between 
the polls and estates and between landed and mercantile interests. 

13th. The present method of the practice of attorneys at law. 

14th. The want of a sufficient medium of trade to remedy the mischiefs 
arising from the scarcity of Money. 

15th. The General Court sitting in the town of Boston. 

i6th. The present embarassments on the press. 

17th. The neglect of the settlements of important Matters depending 
between the Commonwealth and Congress, relating to Monies and Averages. 

i8th. Voted, This convention recomends to the several towns in this 
County, that they instruct their Representatives, to use their influence in 
the next General Court, to have emitted a bank of paper Money, subject 
to a depreciation : making it a tender in all payments, equal to silver and 
gold to be issued in order to call in the Commonwealth secureties. 

19th. Voted, That Whereas several of the above articles of greivances, 
arise from defects in the constitution, therefore a revision of the same ought 
to take place. 

20th. Voted, that it be recommended by this convention to the several 
towns in this county that they petition the Governor to call the (leneral 
Court immediately together in order that the other grievances complained 
of may by the legislature be redressed. 

2 1 St. Voted, That this convention recommend it to the inhabitants of 
this country, that they abstain from all Mobs and unlawful assemblies, 
until a constitutional method of redress can be obtained. 

22nd. Voted, That Mr. Caleb West be desired to transmit a copy of the 
proceedings of this convention to the Convention of the County of 

23rd. Voted, That the Chairman of this Convention be desired to trans- 
mit a copy of the proceeding of this Convention to the County of Berkshire. 

24th. Voted, That the Chairman of this convention be directed to notify 
a County Convention upon any motion made to him for that purpose if he 
judge the reasons offered be sufficient, giving such notice, together with the 
rea.sons thereof in the public papers of this county. 

25th. Voted, that a copy of the proceedings of this convention be sent 
to the press in Springfield for publication." 

Daniel Gray of Pelhani was chairman of a coiumittee chosen to 
issue an address to the people for their better understanding of the 


causes or reasons for their being under arms; they discharged the 
obhgation laid upon them with zeal and earnestness, and though 
mistaken as to the means chosen to correct the evils complained of, 
we believe there was a large measure of honesty in the mass of the 
insurgent forces under arms, and that Daniel Gray believed he was 
serving in a righteous cause. 

" An address to the people of the several Towns in the County of 
Hampshire, now at arms. Gentlemen We have thought proper to 
inform you of some of the principel causes of the late risings of the 
people. Also of their present movements Viz : 

ist. The present expensive mode of collecting debts, which, by reason 
of the g:reat scarcity of cash, will of necessity fill our goals with unhappy 
debtors, and thereby a reputable body of people rendered incapable of being 
serviceable either to themselves or to the community. 

2d. The Monies raised by imports and excise being appropriated to dis- 
charge the interest of the government securities, and not the foreign debt, 
when these securities are not subject to taxation. 

3d. A suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus by which those persons 
who have stepped forth to assert and maintain the rights of the people, are 
liable to be taken and conveyed even to the most distant part of the Com- 
monwealth, and thereby subjected to an unjust punishment. 

4th. The unlimited power granted to justices of the Peace and Sheriffs 
and Constables, by the Riot Act, indemnifying them to the prosecution 
thereof; when perhaps, wholly actuated from a principle of revenge, hatred 
and envy. 

Furthermore, — Be assured, that this body, now at arms, dispise the idea 
of being instigated by British Emessaries, which is so strenuously propa- 
gated by the enemies of our liberties : And also wish the most proper and 
speedy measures may be taken, to discharge both our foreign and domestic 
debt. Per Order, Daniel Gray, 

Chairman of Committee for the above purpose. 

Thomas Grover of \\'orcester, an insurgent leader took upon him- 
self the liberty to fulminate his individual ideas of some of the griev- 
ances the people were suffering under in the Hampshire Hcrald\ 

"To the Printer of the Hampshire Herald: Sir. It has somehow or 
other fallen to my lot to be employed in a more conspicuous manner than 
some of my fellow citizens in stepping forth in defence of the rights and 
privileges of the people, more especially of the County of Hampshire. 

Therefore, upon the desire of the people now at arms, I take this method 
to publish to the world of mankind in general, particularly the people of this 
Commonwealth, some of the principal grievances we complain of and of 
which we are now seeking redress, and mean to contend for, until a redress 
can be obtained, which we hope, will soon take place ; and if so, our brethren 


in this Commonwealth, that do not see with us yet, shall find we shall be as 
peaceable as they be. 

In the first place, I must refer you to a draft of Grievances drawn up by a 
committee of the people, now at arms under the signature of Daniel Gray, 
Chairman, which is heartily approved of: some others also are here added, 

ist. The General Court, for certain obvious reasons, must be removed 
out of the town of Boston. 

2d. A revision of the Constitution is absolutely necessary. 

3d. All kinds of government securities now on interest, that have been 
bought of the original owners for two shillings, three shillings, four shilling, 
and the highest for six shillings and eight pence on the pound, and have 
received more interest than the principal cost the speculator who pur- 
chased them,- — that if justice was done, we verily believe, nay positively 
know, it would save the Commonwealth thousands of pounds. 

4th. Let the lands belonging to this Commonwealth, at the eastward, be 
sold at the best advantage, to pay the remainder of our domestic debt. 

5th. Let the monies arising from impost and excise be appropriated to 
discharge the foreign debt. 

6th. Let that act, passed by the General Court last June by a small 
majority of only seven, called the Supplementary Aid, for twenty-five years 
to come, be repealed. 

7th. The total abolition of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas and 
General Sessions of the Peace. 

8tii. Deputy Sheriffs totally set aside, as a useless set of officers in the 
Community : and Constables who are really necessary, be empowered to do 
the duty, by which means a large swarm of lawyers will be banished from 
their wonted haunts, who have been more damage to the people at large, 
especially to the common farmers, than the savage beasts of prey. 

To this I boldly sign my proper name, as a hearty well wisher to the real 
rights of the people. Thomas Gkovi:r. 

Worcester, Dec. 7, 1786." 

Possibly Grover issued his manifesto from Worcester, but at other 
times his name appears as Capt. Thomas Grover of Montague. 

The causes which led to the prevailing discontent, the calling of 
conventions, and the formulation of a long list of grievances and the 
resort to arms, may need further explanation for the better under- 
standing of the disturbed condition of the people 112 years ago, by 
those who may read this portion of the history of Pelham. 

Causes or Reasons Which Led to Rebellion. 

The War of the Revolution had been ended but a few years. It 
had been an expensive war. The state debt was ^1,300,000 besides 
;^25o,ooo due to officers and soldiers. The .state's portion of the 


Federal debt was ^1,500,000. Every town was more or less embar- 
rassed by advances of money which they had made to equip the fre- 
quent requisitions of men, called for by the state, and for supplies to 
support the army, which had been done upon their own particular 

This burden of debt was enormous as compared with that before 
the war, — when it was less than ;^i 00,000. 

Tax payers now will appreciate the burdens laid upon the people at 
that time, when they know that the third part of all sums raised by 
taxation was laid upon the rateable polls alone, and the rateable 
polls little exceeded 90,000 in the state. 

The people had secured freedom from Great Brittain, but were 
under grievious embarrassments which pressed upon them sorely. 
For eight or nine years they had been fighting for liberty and now 
they felt as though they were fighting for life, — for mere existence 
as it were. Upon the right management of the public debt depended 
the tranquility and happiness of the people. 

They were strongly prejudiced against raising money by duties of 
impost and excise, for paying running expenses of government, or 
for paying public debts. It was considered anti-republican by the 
leading men of that day. The paper currency was depreciating day 
by day and it seemed an impossibility to save the public credit, upon 
which the happiness of the people depended. 

The opposition of the people to paying interest is another thing 
which astonishes us in these times when interest paying by states, 
counties, towns and individuals is so common. They said it was " a 
cankerwofm that consumed their substance without lessening their bur- 
densy We should have said, fund the debt and pay interest annually 
and the principal by installments. But the installment plan had not 
been invented at that time. They wanted to pay the debt at once, 
but could not. 

Another cranky notion was this : That trade, — commerce, — the 
importation of goods, led to luxury and vice. The commercial men 
said all trouble came from the regulations under which commerce had 
to be carried on. To destroy commerce would not lessen the evils 
complained of; and finally the opposition to impost and excise duties 
began to give way. The export trade was almost destroyed, and if 
goods were imported they must be paid for in specie, — which tended 
to drain the country of ready money. 


The private, or individual indebtedness was large ; those who had 
been fighting for liberty came home and found indebtedness they 
had left, unpaid, and more modern debts had been added to the old. 
Paper money was of little value, and specie was not easily obtained, 
while creditors were pressing for payment. The Tender Act of July 
3, 17S2, provided that private debts might be paid in neat cattle and 
certain other personal property at an appraisement by men under 
oath. The law did not satisfy debtors or creditors. It had the 
effect to suspend lawsuits in some cases, but also served as the 
signal for hostilities between creditors and debtors and really because 
of this law debtors thought their creditors were under their control. 

The pressure of creditors had made the people irritable and tur- 
bulent, and the burdensome taxes made the load heavier still ; and 
there was clamor for another issue of paper money for relief, but it 
was not issued. 

The lawyers brought suit in the courts for creditors and attached 
personal property if it could be found. If a debtor had a stock of 
cattle the sheriff seized them and drove them off the farm. The 
debtor could not offer a receiptor for the cattle, as now, until 
trial. The effect of such action being to absolutely block the work 
of the farm, and there is little wonder that the farmers became sullen 
and angry and cast about for successful opposition to such practices. 
That they were in dead earnest to get rid of lawyers is shown by the 
foregoing draft of grievances by Thomas Grover of Worcester, which 
doubtless expressed the prevailing sentiment of the people toward 

There was great increase of these suits for debt, pushed by lawyers, 
urged on by creditor clients anxious to realize on accounts long 
overdue. This persistence on the part of lawyers caused the impecu- 
nious debtors to hate lawyers without stint. Inflamatory newspaper 
articles against lawyers increased this hatred. The leading insur- 
gents insisted that " this class of professional men ought to be abol- 
ished." They instructed the representatives elected to the General 
Court in 1786 " to annihilate lawyers " but they failed to accomplish 
it. Perhaps it would have been better for the country if they had. 
They practically excluded lawyers from the General Court for the 
session of 1786, and convinced the House that their distresses were 
greatly increased by the exhorbitant fees exacted by lawyers and 
attorneys, and passed a bill through the House fixing the fees for 


attorneys and providing for their taking an oath previous to pleading, 
in every cause, that they would not receive more than the lawful fees, 
but it failed to pass the Senate. 

The lawyers being odious to the people the next step was a logical 
one ; — the lawyers were intimately connected with the courts of jus- 
tice, and the courts somewhat under their control, so the extension 
of this hatred of lawyers so as to include the courts was a natural 
one, so the clamor for the abolishment of courts became loud, and 
the purpose to stop the courts by force of arms was soon formed, and 
carried out in many instances. 

On the last Tuesday in August 1786, only a few days after the 
Hatfield convention where they urged the people to abstain from all 
mobs and unlawful assemblies, 1500 men under arms assembled in 
Northampton, took possession of the court house and effectually 
prevented the sitting of the court. The next week the court was 
prevented from holding session in the court house at Worcester but 
held court in a private house. The foregoing brief explanation of the 
reasons or causes which led the people to resort to arms for the 
relief they sought is perhaps sufficient, though it may not be 
satisfactory to those who may read it. 

Enllstment and Organization ov the Insurgents. 

The massing of armed men for raids upon the courts in the shire 
towns of the counties in the state required organization and some 
sort of method for securing and enlisting men. A meeting for the 
consideration of this important business was held, and a committee 
of seventeen insurgents was appointed to raise and organize a large 
force of men in Hampshire county ; among the members of this com- 
mittee were Capt. Shays of Pelham and Capt. Billings of Amherst. 
The form of enlistment used in recruiting these forces was as follows: 

"We do Each one of us acknowledge our Selves to be Inlisted into a 

Company Commanded by Capt. & Lieut. Bullard & in Colo Hazeltons 

Regiment of Regulators in Order for the Suppressing of tyrannical govern- 
ment in the Massachusetts State, And we do Ingage to obey Such orders as 
we shal Reseeve from time to — to time from our Superior ofificers, and to 
faithfully Serve for the term of three months from the Date in Witness 
hereof we have hereunto Set our names — the Conditions of Will Be for a 
Sarg' Sixty ShiUings ?■• Month Cop' Fifty Shillings a Month Privet Forty 
Shillings a Month and if git the Day their will be a Consedrable Bounty 
Ither Forty or Sixty Pounds." 



The enrollment of men went on under the direction of the above 
committee among the restless and turbulent element until a large 
number of the able bodied men in many of the towns were drawn in, 
and were in arms against state authority under local leaders; consti- 
tuting a formidable insurgent body who were determined to prevent 
the sitting of the courts, in the belief that if they could stop the ses- 
sions of the courts they would stop the entry and trial of suits for 
debt by impatient creditors who employed the lawyers. 

The insurgents took possession of court houses in Middlesex 
county and at Worcester, also at Great Barrington in Berkshire. 
They also determined to prevent the sitting of the court at Spring- 
field on the 27th of Sept. 1786. Six hundred of the state militia 
under Gen. Shepard were ordered to take possession of the court 
house which they did. Capt. Daniel Shays with more than 600 
insurgents appeared on the scene and sent a request to the judge 
that none of the late rioters who were under arrest should be indicted. 
The court did little business, and after three days' session adjourned, 
after resolving that it was not expedient to proceed to Berkshire for 
a session of the court in October following. 

In October, Capt. Shays marched his men through the streets of 
Springfield in the face of den. Shepard's men, by permission of the 
General ; it is said the one condition of the permission was, that the 
insurgents behave well ; which it is said they did. There was a 
gathering of insurgents at Great Barrington the same month because 
they feared that an attempt would be made to hold court, but there 
was no attempt to hold a session. 

The legislature v/hich was called together on the 27th of Sept. 
1786 had passed some stringent measures which caused Capt. Shays 
to issue the following order : 

'•PELHA.M, Oct. 13, 17S6. 

Gentlemen: — By information from the General Court they are deter- 
mined to call all those who appeared to stop the court to condign punish- 
ment. Therefore I reque'st you to assemble your men together to see that 
tiiey are Well armed and equipped with sixty rounds each man, and be 
ready to turn out at a Minute's warning; likewise be properly organized with 
officers. J3ANIEL Shays." 

The General Court adjourned on the iSth day of November, 1786 
after suspending the Habeas Corpus act and passing other acts that 
it was hoped would pacify the excited people of the state. .-\t that 
time it was estimated that one-third of the entire population was in 


sympathy with, or in active action against the constituted authorities, 
and in some sections of the state the proportion of insurgents was 
larger. On the 23d of November there was a convention of insur- 
gents at Worcester after the courts had been unable to enter the 
court house on the 21st, and obliged to hold court in a tavern. 

Governor Bowdoin then began to take active measures for the 
suppression of this uprising. The militia in Middlesex was called 
out and four regiments in Essex. The insurgent leaders having 
rejected offers of pardon, warrants were issued for the arrest of the 
leaders, and Parker, Page, and Job Shattuck, leaders in the eastern 
part of the state, were arrested in Groton. 

Shays with the largest part of the insurgents left Worcester after 
stopping the courts on the 21st and marched to Rutland where he 
remained until Dec. 3d when he returned to Worcester, but marched 
back to Rutland again on the 9th of the same month where he 
remained for some time, some of his men freezing to death on the 
march. There was a great scarcity of provisions, and 'tis said that 
Shays made known his willingness to leave the people to themselves 
and accept of pardon if the Government would offer it. 

Warrants for the Arrest of Rebel Leaders. 

On the loth of January, 17S7, Gov. Bowdoin issued Warrants to 

the sheriff of Hampshire county for the arrest of 

Capt. Asa Fisk of South Brimfield. Joseph Hinds of (jreenwich. 

Alpheus Colton of Longmeadow. Capt. Joel Billings of Amherst. 

Luke Day of West Springfield. Obed Foot of Greenfiekl. 

Capt. Gad Sacket of Westfield. Capt. Abel Dinsmore of Conway. 

Capt. Aaron Jewett of Chesterfield. Capt. Matliew Clark of Colrain.' 

Capt. John Brown of Whately. Samuel Hill of Charlemont. 

Samuel Morse of Worthington. Capt. Thomas Grover of Montague. 

Capt. Daniel Shays of Pelham. John Powers of Shutcshury. 

These men were the leaders of the insurgents in Western Mass. of 
whom the governor wrote the sheriff as follows : '• That the enlarge- 
ment of the above named persons is dangerous to the Common- 
wealth, its peace and safety." Sheriff" Klisha Porter reported to the 
governor: — " IJay, Colton, Clark and Brown, jailed, — the others not 

Gov. Bowdoin found that calling out a few men here and there 
was having no good effect in quelling these rebellious citizens and 
by the advice of the Council 4400 men were called out, 700 of them 
from Suffolk, 500 from Essex. 800 from Middlesex, 1200 from 


Hampshire and 1200 from Worcester counties, with two companies 

■ of artillery, detached from Suffolk and two from Middlesex. The 
troops from Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex were ordered to gather 
near Boston on the 19th of January, 1787. Those from Hampshire 
county at Springfield on the iSth. Troops from Worcester to join 
those of the eastern counties at Worcester. All were raised for 
thirty days' service, unless sooner discharged. Major-Gen. Benjamin 
Lincoln was placed in command. 

The state treasury was so low at that time that there was not 
money enough to place the troops in the field and private citizens 
furnished the money to do it. Gov. Bowdoin issued his orders to 
Gen. Lincoln to take command and protect the courts, to apprehend 
all hostile persons, etc., — and closed with this paragraph : 

" On these attempts to restore system and order I wish the smiles of 
"heaven, and that you may have an agreeable command, the most perfect 
success, and a speedy and safe return; I am with much esteem, sir, your 
most obedient servant, James Bowdoin. 

Hox. Major Gen. Lincoln." 

The Rebels March Toward Sprinofield. 

Capt. Shays and his insurgent forces had withdrawn from Worces- 
ter toward the western part of the state. Gen. Lincoln arrived at 
Worcester on the 2 2d of January. The court was to sit on the 23d, 
.and it did without any trouble. Gen. Lincoln and his army pre- 
vented any outbreak. 

Gen. Shepard was in command of 11 00 men from Hampshire 
county guarding the arsenal and stores at Springfield and the insur- 
gents under ("apt. Shays and others were concentrating there for an 
attack. Luke Day had 400 men at West Springfield. Shays with 
1 100 men was on the Boston road while Eli Parsons was at Spring- 
field, North Parish (Chicopee) with 400 more. Most of these men 
were old Continental soldiers. 

Shays informed Day that he proposed to attack the post at Spring- 
field on the 25th, which was the next day. Day replied that he 

■ could not assist on the 25th, but would be ready on the 26th. but 
his letter was intercepted by Gen. Shepard. Shays thinking it was 
all right marched his forces from Wilbraham to the attack. Day in 
the meantime had sent a preemptory demand to Gen. Shepard that 
the troops under his command be surrendered to him, but it did not 
iterrify the General as Day perhaps hoped it might. 


Gen. Lincoln was two days' march from Springfield, but hurrying 
forward through the deep snow. With more insurgent troops near him 
than he had militia, Gen. Shepard discovered Capt. Shays and his 
forces approaching from the Boston road about 4 p. m. on the after- 
noon of the 25th of January, moving toward the arsenal which he had 
been ordered to defend. The General sent an aid accompanied by two- 
citizens to Shays, several times, to ask what the latter's intentions 
were and to warn him of danger. Shays was informed that the 
militia was posted there by order of the Governor, and of Congress 
and if he should advance further the militia would certainly fire upon 
his men. Shays declared that he would have possession of the bar- 
racks, " Barracks I will have and stores," and marched to within 
250 yards, when Gen. Shepard ordered his men to fire the cannon; 
but the first two shots were fired over the heads of Shays and his 
men, who continued to march upon the arsenal. The third shot was 
aimed at the center of the advancing column and fired with deadly 

There was a cry of "murder," and old soldiers though they were, 
the whole body of men were thrown into confusion. Shays tried to 
rally his men but could not, and his whole force was soon in full 
retreat in the direction of Ludlow, leaving three dead and one 
wounded upon the field. Shays joined forces with Eli Parsons at 
Chicopee on the next day but the arrival of Gen. Lincoln on the 27th 
prevented another attack by the Shays men. 

Gen. Lincoln had four regiments, three companies of artillery, 
and one company of horse or cavalry as they would be called now. 
At 3-30 the same day. Gen. Lincoln crossed the Connecticut river on 
the ice after Day and his men, but they fled in confusion and spent 
the night on the march to Northampton. On the 28th, Gen. Lincoln 
began the march after Shays who had retreated through South 
Hadley towards Amherst. The pursuit of Shays and his followers 
began at 2 o'clock in the morning of the 28th, and Gen. Lincoln 
pushed along as fast as the drifted snow would permit. Capt. 
Shays had a pretty good lead and kept out of the way of his pursuers, 
arriving in Amherst quite a little in advance of Gen. Lincoln, but 
knowing he was not far behind, pushed on toward Pelham. 

A short time after the Shays men had gone from Amherst, ten 
sleigh loads of provisions from Berkshire came to East Amherst and 
stopped to feed their horses at the tavern kept by Oliver Clapp., 


Landlord Clapp knew that Gen. Lincoln was in pursuit of Shays and 
his men and that the men were about famished. He told the men 
in charge of the provisions not to think of stopping to feed the horses, 
but to push on towards Pelham before they were gobbled up by Lin- 
coln. The teams hurried on after Shays and the famished men got 
the provisions which they would have failed to receive, had not 
Landlord Clapp, who was a personal friend of Shays, hurried up the 
teams. Gen. Lincoln and his army arrived in Amherst and on 
being informed of the passing of Shays and his men towards Pelham, 
decided not to pursue them further that day. 

The people who were in the farm houses along the road from 
Amherst to Pelham, West Hill, consisting mostly of women and 
children, saw a very strange and unusual sight as they looked out to 
the west along the deeply drifted snow-covered highway on the after- 
noon of the 28th of January, 1787. Straggling along the untrod 
road, they saw 1100 armed men, foot-sore and weary, toiling slowly 
along up the hills after their long march from Springfield. No such 
sight had they ever seen before, and never since that day has so 
large a body of armed men been seen in the town. 

Captain Shays they knew, and their husbands and sons and 
brothers also, but the men from Middlesex, Worcester and Berkshire 
counties they did not know. The travel-worn army of rebels was 
halted on the common in front of the old meeting house. A portion 
of the men camped as comfortably as it was possible with the great 
lack of tents or camp equipage, and the other half, with the rebel 
captain moved on through the snow of that old fashioned winter 
down the slope to the "Hollow" where the old Conkey tavern was 
located, and then up to the summit of Pelham, East Hill, where they 
camped, Capt. Shays making himself comfortable at the old tavern 
he knew so well. That 11 00 men could be maintained in any sort 
of comfort on these bleak hills in the dead of winter would seem 
almost impossible to anyone who will visit them any year in January ; 
but they were quartered on these hills from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 and 
none were frozen so far is known. Doubtless the ten sleigh loads 
of provisions, which Landlord Clapp hurried along after Capt. Shays' 
rebel army, helped to make their stay in Pelham more agreeable 
than it otherwise would have been. 

General Lincoln made an examination of the houses at Amherst 
and discovered that they contained mostly women and children, 


most of the men being with the insurgents under Shays. He also 
learned about the ten sleigh loads of provisions which had gone for- 
ward. He then forbade the remaining inhabitants from furnishing 
any supplies to the insurgents ; and pushed on to Hadley where he 
might find cover for his weary troops. 

As we have already said the Shays men were quartered in some 
sort of comfort on these two hills in Pellham and Capt. Shays was 
at his old headquarters at Landlord Conkey's tavern in the great 
hollow between the east and west hills. Gen. Lincoln was at Hadley 
ten to twelve miles west of Pelham, with his forces and from his head- 
quarters sent the following letter to Captain Shays on the 30th of 
January, 1787. 

"Whether you are convinced or not of your error in flying to arms, I am 
fully pursuaded that before this hour, you must have the fullest conviction 
upon your mind that you are not able to execute your original purposes. 

Your resources are few, your force is inconsiderable, and hourly decreas- 
ing from the disaffection of your men ; you are in a post where you have 
neither cover nor supplies, and in a situation in which you can neither give 
aid to your friends nor discomfort to the supporters of good order and gov- 
ernment. Under these circumstances you cannot hesitate a moment to dis- 
band your deluded followers. If you should not, I must approach, and 
apprehend the most influential characters among you. 

Should you attempt to fire upon the troops of the government, the conse- 
quences must be fatal to many of your men, the least guilty. To prevent 
bloodshed, you will communicate to your privates, that if they will instantly 
lay down their arms, surrender themselves to government, and take and sub- 
scribe the oath of allegience to this Commonwealth, they shall be recom- 
mended for mercy. If you should either withhold this information from 
them, or suffer your people to fire upon our approach, you must be answer- 
able for all the ills which may exist in consequence thereof." 

To this letter General Lincoln received the following reply: 

" Pelham, January 30TH, 1787. 

To General Lincoln, Commaxding the Government Troops at 
Hadley, S/r.— The people assembled in arms from the counties of Middle- 
sex, Worcester, Hampshire and Berkshire, taking into serious consideration 
the purport of the flag just received, return for answer, that however unjust- 
ifiable the measures may be which the people have adopted, in having 
recourse to arms, various circumstances have induced them thereto. 

We are sensible of the embarrassments the people aie under; but that 
virtue which truly characterizes the citizens of a republican government, 
hath hitherto marked our paths with a degree of innocence ; and we wish 
and trust it will still be the case. At the same time, the people are willing 
to lay down their arms, on the condition of a general pardon, and return to 


their respective homes, as they are unwilling to stain the land, which we in 
the late war purchased at so dear a rate, with the blood of our brethren and 

Therefore, we pray that hostilities may cease, on your part, until our 
united prayers may be presented to the General Court, and we receive an 
answer, as a person is gone for that purpose. If this request may be com- 
piled with, government shall meet with no interruption from the people; 
but let each army occupy the post where they now are. 

Daniel Shays, Captain." 
On the following day three of the insurgents from the camp at 
Pelham appeared at General Lincoln's headquarters at Hadley with 
the following communination : 

The HoNOKAi'.LE General Lincoln, Sir. — As the officers of the people 
now convened in defence of their rights and privileges, have sent a petition 
to the General Court, for the sole purpose of accommodating our present 
unhappy affairs, we justly expect that hostilities may cease on both sides, 
until we have a return from our legislature. Your Honour will therefore be 
pleased to give us an answer. 

Per order of the committee for recconcilliation, 

Francis Stone, Chairman, 
Daniel Shays, Captain, 
Adam Wheeler. 
Pelham, January 31, 1787." 

General Lincoln sent answer to the foregoing letter as follows : 

" Hadley, January 31. 17S7. 
Gentlemen. — Your request is totally inadmissible, as no powers are dele- 
gated to me which would justify a delay of my operations. Hostilities I 
have not commenced. I have again to warn the people in arms against the 
government, immediately to disband, as they would avoid the ill conse- 
quences which may ensue, should they be inattentive to this caution. 

B. Lincoln. 
To Francis Stone, Daniel Shays, Adam Wheeler." 
It was while this correspondence was going on that the time for 
the assembling of the General Court arrived according to adjourn- 
ment, but owing to the unsettled state of the people the legislators 
did not arrive at Boston in sufficient numbers until the 3d of Febru- 
ary. On the 4th a declaration of rebellion was passed by the Senate 
and concurred in by the House. When General Shepard and Gen- 
eral Lincoln dispersed the rebels at Springfield the latter discharged 
2000 militia becau.^ed he believed they would not be wanted, but when 
Captain Shays posted his men at Pelham, the rebellion began to 
assume more importance, and Governor Bowdoin issued orders for 
2600 of the militia in the middle counties to take the field. 


The petition, which Shays and his associates of the committee of 
reconcilliation referred to as having been sent to the General Court, 
reached Boston and was duly presented to the honorable body. It 
was in language as follows : 

"Petition of the Officers of the Counties of Worcester, Hamp- 
shire, Middlesex and Berkshire Now at Arms. 
Humbly Sheweth : — That your petitioners being sensible that we have 
been in error, in having recourse to arms, and not seeking redress in a Con- 
stitutional way ; we therefore heartily pray your honours, to overlook our 
failing, in respect to our rising in Arms, as your honors must be sensible we 
had great cause of uneasiness, as will appear by your redressing many 
grievances, the last session; yet we declare, that it is our hearts desire, that 
good government may be kept in a constitutional way ; and as it appears to 
us, that the time is near approaching, when much human blood will be spilt, 
unless a recconcilliation can immediately take place, which scene strikes 
us with horror, let the foundation cause be what it may. 

We therefore solemnly promise, that we will lay down our arms, and repair 
to our respective homes, in a peaceable and quiet manner; and so remain, 
provided your honours will grant to your petitioners, and all those our breth- 
ren who have recouse to arms, or otherwise aided or assisted our cause, a 
general pardon for their past offences. All of which we humbly submit to 
the wisdom, candour and benevolence of your honours, as we in duty bound 
shall ever pray. Francis Stone, 

Chairman of the Committee for the above Counties. 
Read and accepted by the Officers. Pelham, January 30, 1787." 

The General Court took the petition in hand and at once " Voted 
that the said paper cannot be sustained," and gave seven distinct 
reasons for their action, a few of them we copy. " First, because 
those concerned therein openly avow themselves in arms, and in a 
state of hostility against the government, and for this reason alone, 
the said paper would be unsustainable, even if the tenor of the appli- 
cation had discovered a spirit suitable to the object of it. Fourthly, 
The said applicants appear to view themselves on equal, if not better 
standing than the legislature, by proposing ' a reconcilliation.' 
Fifthly, They appear to threaten the authority and Government of 
the Commonwealth, with great effusion of blood, unless this 'recon- 
cilliation can immediately take place.'" 

In a letter written by General Lincoln to Governor Bowdoin dated 
at Hadley, Feb. i, 1787, he says: 

" I have just been honored with the receipt of your Excellency's favor of 
the 25 ult. * * * I wait with a degree of impatience for such weather as will 


permit my reconnoitering Shays' post, which as I have advised you before 
is a very strong one. Every exertion will be made to bring this matter to a 
happy close. R. Lincoln." 

It is probably true that there was a reconnoisance of Capt. Shays' 
position by order of Gen. Lincoln and it doubtless caused the rebel 
leader to set his forces in motion towards Petersham. 

The terse answer of General Lincoln Jan. 31, 1787, did not satisfy 
the committee of insurgents of which Capt. Shays was one, and a 
private conference was sought by one of the leading rebels to further 
consider the subject of promise of pardon. It was granted and the 
conference was held at Hadley, Feb. 3, 1787, the day the General 
Court assembled. While the conference was in session Capt. Shays, 
who seems to have forgotten the petition that had been sent to the 
legislature, concluded not to wait for the result of the conference, at 
Hadley, but while it was going on the wily Captain started his men 
on the march across the hills and through the valleys towards 

Dr. Nehemiah Hinds kept a tavern at that time on Pelham East 
Hill, where a part of Capt. Shays' men were gathered while in Pelham. 
It stood on the site of the present Congregational parsonage in Pres- 
cott, and Landlord Hinds had for a sign the painting of a horse held 
by a groom. The board on which this sign was painted was hung 
on a post or pole set in a solid rock in front of the tavern. The 
tavern and the sign are gone but the rock with the hole six inches in 
diameter and about two feet deep remains. The rains in summer 
keep the hole filled with water and the children of all generations 
from 1787 to this day have made mud pies on that rock. 

It was by this rock with the tavern sign above it that Capt. Shays 
is said to have treated his men, (probably the officers of his insurgent 
force) as they were leaving the town by the snowy highway, contin- 
uing their flight from the larger and stronger body of State Militia 
under General Lincoln encamped at Hadley, that Capt. Shays knew^ 
would continue the pursuit just as soon as General Lincoln became 
aware that the private conference was sought only for the purpose 
of gaining time, and the General should learn of his leaving Pelham. 

This march of the rebels to Petersham was the last move in any 
considerable numbers of the insurgent forces. There was trouble 
from small bodies of rebels afterwards for some time in various 
parts of the state, but it is not thought best to follow up this sort 
of guerrilla war that was kept up for several months. 


The march of General Lincohi's army from Hadley to Petersham, 
as given in Minot's Histoiy of the insurrection : 

" Information that Shays had put his forces in motion and left Pel- 
ham was carried to Gen. Lincoln at Hadley at noon of the same day 
(Feb. 3. 1787) but it was first thought that he had only marched the 
men on the West Hill to join those on the East Hill of Pelham. 

Gen. Lincoln issued orders to his army to be ready to march at a 
moments notice and to have three days provisions ready. At 6 
o'clock that day news came that Shays had really left his position at 
Pelham and gone eastward. In two hours from the time or at eight 
o'clock in that winter night Lincoln and his army were on the march 
after the rebels. Through Amherst, Shutesbury and New Salem 
they marched as fast as the deep snows would permit, hour after 
hour without any unusual incident of note save the bitter cold. At 
two o'clock in morning they were in New Salem. lly this time a 
violent snow storm had begun, accompanied by a fierce north wind, 
which sharpened the cold to an extreme degree. The route lay across 
high lands, and the falling snow filled the road. The soldiers were 
exposed to the full effect of these circumstances, and the country being 
thinly settled did not afford a covering for them within the distance 
of eight miles. Being thus deprived of shelter by want of buildings, 
and of refreshment by the intenseness of the cold, which prevented 
their taking any in the road, their only safety lay in closely pursuing 
a march, which was to terminate at the quarters of the enemy. They 
therefore advanced the whole distance of thirty miles subject to all 
these inclemencies without halting for any length of time. Their 
front reached Petersham by nine o'clock in the morning, (Feb. 4) 
their rear being five miles distant." 

Shays and his men had been comfortably housed during the cold 
and storm, while Lincoln and his army were greatly worn by the 
fatigue of the march and suffering from the intense cold. It would 
seem that Shays had the advantage, but he did not seem to know it, or 
Gen. Lincoln didn't give him an opportunity to use it, for the latter 
advanced into the town with some artillery in front. Shays was 
taken by surprise,— he had not the least suspicion that any danger 
of attack was possible ; and in his fear the only thought seemed to 
be his own personal safety, and he and his men immediately evac- 
uated the houses where they had been quartered and thronging into 
a back road, fled towards Athol, without scarcely stopping to fire a 


gun. Many of the privates retired to their own homes, — others 
including officers fled to Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. 

After the breaking up the main body of the rebels under ("apt. 
Shays at Petersham, Gen. Lincoln marched his forces back to the 
Western part of the state to look after and disperse other small bands 
that still kept up a noisy but not a very dangerous campaign. 

As some may ask whether any of these rebels were ever punished, 
it may be best to say right here that the state government had no 
desire to execute the extreme penalties of the law against these rebels, 
but they wished to show that it was dangerous business to rebel. 
A commission was appointed consisting of Gen. B. Lincoln, Hon. 
Samuel Phillips and Hon. Samuel Allen Otis for granting indemnity 
to some persons concerned in rebellion, and 790 persons came under 
its benefits, of whom 1 2 were convicted of treason in the western 
part of the state and sentenced to death. Seven or eight of these 
were extended a free pardon by the governor on the 30th of April, 
1787, and a reprieve granted to the others on the 21st of June follow- 
ing, but the sheriff of Hampshire Co., was directed not to open his 
orders until the criminals had arrived at the gallows and all 
arrangements for the execution attended to. Among these was one 
man from Pelham and his name was Henry McCulloch. 

A member of the House of Representatives was arrested by a state 
warrant for sedition and sentenced to sit upon the gallows for a 
time, to pay a fine of ;^5o and give bonds to keep the peace for five 
years and the sentence was executed. 

Those who had been guilty of favoring the rebellion were exclu- 
ded from the jury box for three years. Unless they could get a vote 
of the town to restore them. Li some towns there were hardly men 
enough in town not tinctured with rebellious sentiments for town 
officers, and all town officers were required to take and subscribe to 
the oath of allegiance for some years. 

Shays and Parsons and others of the leaders sued for pardon in 
February 1788 and it was granted to Shays in the following June. 

Although Capt. Daniel Shays was the acknowledged leader of the 
insurrection, and the disturbance received its name as the Shays rebel- 
lion from the fact of his leadership, he escaped the notoriety of being 
sentenced to death for his crime against the state, and the honor or 
disgrace fell upon Henry McCulloch, being the only man from Pel- 
ham who had the death penalty passed upon him. 


Henry McCulloch was a farmer and his farm was the whole or a 
part of home lot 48 originally drawn by John Stinson on the middle 
range road about a mile west of the Old Meeting House and now 
occupied by Mr. C. P. Hanson a soldier of the Civil War. The site 
of the residence of McCulloch is back from the highway and north- 
east of the farm house of Mr. Hanson. Some stones of the founda- 
tion remain and the well with its moss covered stones and abundance 
of pure w^ater can be seen by the visitor interested in tracing such 
lines of history. 

Henry McCulloch of Pelham, Jason Parmenter of Bernardston, 
David Luddington of Southampton, James White of Colraine and 
Alpheus Colton of Longmeadow, were tried in April 1787 and found 
guilty. McCulloch was sentenced to death by hanging on the gal- 
lows for participating in the insurrection, the date was fixed and he 
was confined in jail at Northampton awaiting the fatal day. 

Petitions numerously signed for a reprieve were forwarded to Gov. 
Bowdoin and the following order for delay in the execution of the 
sentence was forwarded to High Sheriff Porter. ' 

"Boston, Mav 17, 1787. 
Elisha Porter, Esq., Sheriff of the County of Hampshire. 

Warrant deferring the execution of Henry McCulloch and Jason Par- 
menter. We therefore by and with the advice of the Council do hereby 
direct you to suspend and delay the sentence aforesaid until Thursday the 
twenty-first day of June next, and hereby require you then, between the hours 
of 12 and three o'clock in the daytime to execute the said sentence of death 
in execution against them and cause them to be hanged up by the neck until 
they be dead as directed in the warrant. James Bowdoin." 

After the reprieve petitions for his pardon and release were circu- 
lated. There was a petition from Hatfield signed by 73 people of 
that town : one from Hadley having 44 names : one from Colraine 
and from other towns. Pelham people were greatly interested for 
the release and pardon of McCulloch and the following petition with 
appended list of names shows that almost all of the male inhabitants 
must have signed it. 

.. piixixioN TO His J-^xcei.i.enxv. James Bowdoix, Esq. 

Govenor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Honorable 
Council. The Sul^cribers, Petitioners, Inhabitants of the town of Pelham, 
in the County of Hampshire, in behalf of Henry McCulloch of said Pelham, 
now a prisoner within the goalin Northampton under a sentence of death 
for treason against the Government most humbly shews : — That, very 


deeply affected with the unhappy condition of the said Henry McCulloch 
and anxiously desirious to do everything within their power and to use every 
proper and regular method in order to avert if possible his impending Fate, 
they have presumed to approach your Excellency & Honors with their most 
Honorable petition in favour of the said Henry begging the clemency and 
mercy of the government to spare his forefited Life and Pardon his offences 
for which he is sentenced to die. — They beg Leave to assure your Excellency 
and Honors that although he stands convicted of so high and aggravated an 
offence, yet he is by no means in other respects of an abandoned Character 
but has been in the vicinity where he dwells considered as benevolent and 
useful citizen, and that it is the opinion of your Petitioners that in case his 
Life might be saved he would be induced from his past errors, misfortunes 
and Dangers to yield due submission to the Laws of the Government and 
make all possible atonement for Past Offenses, by future obedience ; — your 
Petitioners further beg leave to suggest to your Merciful and compassionate 
consideration the distresses of an aged and impotent Parent, and all the ten- 
der agencies of surrounding Neighbors and Friends, and likewise to spare 
your Excellencie's and Honor's in case the said unhappy Prisoner would 
receive a pardon it would be considered by your Humble Petitioners and 
by the Inhabitance of their town in general, as such an act of clemency as 
would lay them under the most particular obligations to use their utmost influ- 
ence in future in order to promote and secure a due submission to Govern- 
ment and obedience to the Laws : your Petitioners therefore Most Humbly 
Pray that the said Prisoners life may be spared, and he may receive a full 
pardon for his offences, and as in duty bound shall ever pray, May 1787. 
Ebenezer Liscom, (Blotted) Peebles. 

Hugh Johnson, John Hood, 

John Crawford, John Harkness 2d, 

John Bruce, Ebenezer Gray, 

Ephriam Church, Adam Johnson, 

Adam Clark. William Dunlap, 

Orles Keith, Reuben Lothridge, 

Wm Johnston Robert Crossett. 

Joseph Packard, Starling King. 

Joseph Thompson, Wm Wells, 

James McMilleon, Nathn'l .Sampson, 

Jonathan Gray, Thomas McMillan, 

Mathew Brow'n, James McMillan, 

Barnabas Blackmer, James Thomson, 

John McCulloch, John Rinken, 

James Taylor, Jacob Gray, 

Jonathan Hood, Andrew Conkey, 

David Conkey, Thompson, 

Levi Packard, James Abercrombie, 

Robert Houston. Lsaac Conkey. 

James Thompson. Jonathan Leach. 

Elihu Billings, Stephen F"ish, 

Thomas Dick, Daniel Tyler, 

Eliakim Barlow. Jonathan Engram. 

Joseph Tinkham. Alase Crosther, 

M Clark. Hugh Holland, 

James King, Ezekiel ]5aker. 



John Peebles, 
John Hamilton, 
Samuel Hyde, 
Thomas Harlow, 
Ezekiel Conkey, 
David Houston, 
Alexander Conkey, 
Alexander Conkey, Jr. 
John Coal, 
Levi Arms. 
Isaac Barlow, 
Joel Crawford, 
John Thompson, 
Mathew Gray, 
Isaac Abercrombie, 
Robert McCuUoch, 
Wm Baldwin. 
Robert Abercrombie, 
Peter King, 
Joseph Rinken, 
Mathew Rinken, 
Isaac Dodge, 
Gideon Hacket, 
George Hacket, 
Ichahod Hay ward, 
John Abbott, 
Andrew Abercrombie, 
Thomas Montgomery, 
Samuel HoUey, 
Samuel Stevenson, 
John Johnson, 
Stephen Andrews. 
James Cowden, 
Uriah Southworth, 
Abner Amsdill, 
Robert Sekell, 
Elisha Conkey, 
James Latham, 
William Choate, Jr. 
James Cowan, Jr, 
James Cowan. 
Joseph Hamilton, 
George Eliot, 
Jeremiah McMillan, 

The above petition was forwarded to Gov Bowdoin, at Boston. 

Gen. Ebenezer Mattoon, who it is said counted McCulloch among 
his personal friends, wrote to Lieut. Gov. Thomas Gushing in which 
he said. 

" I am fearful McCulloch will suffer for want of proper knowledge of his 
character. He is rash and bad in many of his expressions, exceedingly so, 
yet when he is out of bad company and himself, I declare I know not of a 
person of more honesty and fidelity, nor a person more generous according 
to his ability ; surely less guilty than either of the four who are pardoned. 
I am certain of it, from my own knowledge.— He is forward : had a good 

James Kim, 
Wm Hays, 
Savanna Hays, 
David Harkness, 
John Harkness, 
Timothy Engram, 
James Hyde, 
Timothy Clapp, 
Nathan Perkins, 
Thomas Fuller, 
Clement iMarshal, 
Daniel Harkness, 
John Barber, 
James Rinken, 
Jonathan Snow, 
Alexander Torrence, 
Ebenezer Saris, 
Samuel Rhods, 
Thomas Conkey, 
Robert Maklam, 
Wm Conkey, Jr. 
Robert Young Peebles, 
Ebenezer Wood, 
James Hunter, 
Isaac Baker, 
Lewis Baker, 
Elam Brown, 
Wm Ashley, 
David Sloan, 
Samuel Fenton. 
Aaron Gray, 
Mathew Gray, Jr. 
Eliot Gray, 
Barber Gray, 
Patrick Gray, 
Joel Gray, 
Thomas Gray, 
Jeremiah Gray, 
James Conkey. 
James Baker, 
James Conkey, Jr. 
Patrick McMUlan, 
Jonathan McMillan." 


horse and was frequently called upon by Shays, Gray and other leaders in 

Pelham. He frequently told me he wished he were out of it, but he could 

not live in Pelham unless he joined them. Have been acquainted with him 
a number of years and knew him in private life. I should have been happy 
while at Springfield with the Government troops, and Shays in Amherst, If 
I had known that my family were protected by McCulloch. 

I have suffered much in person and property by these people, — I have 
been obliged to move my family to a Neighboring town for Shelter. — Not- 
withstanding all this I must beg for McCulloch. I cannot express my feel- 
ings on this subject, but am sure McCulloch is not the person to make an 
example of. Ebenezer Mattoon, Jun. 

To Major Thomas Gushing, Boston. 
Northampton, May 8, 1787." 

The earnestness and feeling displayed in the above letter shows 
that Gen. Mattoon had more than an ordinary interest in McCulloch 
and a story that has come down from the time of the insurrection 
touching Gen. Mattoon's relations with McCulloch may explain to 
some extent this peculiar interest. 

McCulloch and Mattoon were said to have been associated together 
in years previous to the Shays rebellion when they were young men 
and they made a compact or agreement each with the other that in 
after life should one become well to do and the other be poor and in 
need, he should have the privilege of making his wants known and 
receive needed assistance. Later in life McCulloch was in rather 
straightened circumstances, and it is said, used to come to Gen. Mat- 
toon's home at Amherst and say to the General, " Dost thou remem- 
ber the compact ?" and in response McCulloch's bags were at once 
filled with grain from the General's well tilled granary, which the for- 
mer would take home to his fan.ily in Pelham. 

As Henry McCulloch and Jason Parmenter were associated together 
in the warrant for execution and in the reprieve it may not be out of 
place to state that active measures were taken by Parmenter's friends 
for his pardon. 

A petition for the reprieve of Jason Parmenter was sent to the 

Govenor dated at Sudbury. May, 11, 1787, signed by, 

Ruth Parmenter, (mother.) 

fMicAH Parmenter, 
Brothers , deliv^j^^jj^e Parmenter, 

° "^ Israel Parmenter, 

J^^^" ^SiLAS Parmenter. 


There was also a petition sent to the governor by the condemned 
Jason and signed by himself alone, in which he pled earnestly for 
pardon. The result of the various petitions and letters poured in 
upon Govenor Bowdoin seemed to have the desired effect and not 
only reprieve for a few weeks but a '-full, free and ample pardon " 
was granted. Whether there was any real purpose to hang these 
men, on the part of the state authorities may be questioned, but the 
men under sentence of death were led to believe that the state would 
punish rebels by death. 

Governor Bowdoin went out of office before the final decision was 
made concerning the cases of the two condemned rebels and they 
were pardoned by Governor John Hancock. The document which 
relieved the men from their fears and set them at liberty read sub- 
stantially as follows, only the important and effective portions being 

" We therefore by and with the advice and consent of the Council of our 
Special grace do hereby remit to the said Henry McCulloch and Jason Par- 
menter a full free and ample pardon of all the Pains and Penalties they were 
liable to suffer and undergo by Vertue of the Sentences and Judgements 
aforesaid and of which the Sheriff of our said County of Hampshire is in 
an especial manner to take notice. John HANCf)CK, Governor. 

Boston, Sept. 12, 1787." 

While the friends of Henry McCulloch were doing their best to get 
him pardoned and set at liberty during the spring and summer of 
1787, the rank and file of the Pelham people who had been engaged 
in rebellion against the state government had taken the oath of 
allegiance and had been at work on their farms as law abiding 

From the rolls among the records at the State House the following 
list of men from Pelham, who had been in rebellion, has been copied 
in full. Some delivered up guns they had used against the state ; 
some did not, while others offered such excuses as they had for their 

" Pelham men who took oath of allegiance .\pril i6, 17S7. because they 
had been engaged in the insurrection. 

Thomas Johnson, j^^ 1^ ^ j^i,^,.^, 

George Eliot, ■' ^ mark 

John Harkness 2*^. John Hamilton, Jun., 

Daniel Harkness Jun, James Cowan, Jun., 

David Hays, James Johnston, 

James Baker Feb. 27, 1787, Joel Crawford, 

Stephen Andrews, Moors Johnston, 


Stephen Pettingall Jacob Edson, gun. 

Abner Amsdill, John Bruce, Gun, 

Samuel Rhods, gun, Eleakim liarton, 

George Racket, gun, I.saac Abercrombie. 

Uriah Southworth, gun. Abiah Southwortli. 

Joseph Tinkliam, gun, Justus Cowan. 

WilHam Cowan. Jonathan Baker, 

John Cowan, Eliot (iray, 

Lewis Ames, gun, Jonathan .Snow. 

John Cole, gun, Joel Rinken. 

Thirty persons on the rigiit hand of this column (meaning tlie first thirty 
names) Personally appeared and took and subscribed the oath of allegiance 
to the Commonwealth on the i6 day of April 1787. 

Coram (before me.) E. Mattoon. Jun., Justice Peace." 
" Hugh Johnston subscribed March 14. 17S7 Excepting the words ' Ecclesi- 
astical or Spiritual. 

March 16 Ebenezer Gray carried no arms he said. 

March 19 Simeon Smith delivered his Gun. 

March 20 Medad Moody ' lent a gun unwillingly.' 

March 21 Joshua Whitney aided only by leading home his brothers horse. 

Veh 6 Elias Smith. Samuel Smith Received their arms at Amherst. 
Henry Lee Never bore Arms. 

March 23, 1787, Ezekiel Conkey. David Conkey, 

James Abercrombie, James McMillan, 

David Pratt, Robert Crosett, 

Samuel Robins, Jeremiah McMillan, 

Eliott (;ray 2", Wm. McMillan. 

Thomas Clelland, Jonathan McMillan. 

Joseph Johnston, Wm. Johnston. 

Ezekiel Conkey, Elisha Gray, 

Thomas Thompson. Joseph Waiscoat, 

Ezekiel Baker, Thomas Conkey, 

John Thompson Jan.. John Hunter. 

Andrew Hyde. 

Before Isaac Powers, Justice Peace." 
"Sept. 10, 1787, Lieut. Timothy Packard of Pelham took oath l)efore me 

E. Mattoon. Jun." 

'• Ha.vipshihe ss Feh. I, 1787. 
Then John Hood, Adam Johnson, Jonathan Engram, Samuel Engram of 

Pelham informally appeared before me and took and subcribed to the oath 

of Allegiance. Before me Ab.ver Morgan. 

Elisha Baldwin-, ( 

Samuel Wricjht." i 

Lieut. Timothy Packard was one of the last to take the oath, while 
Hood, Johnson and the two Ingrams were the earliest ; the date on 
which they subscribed to the oath of allegiance was one of the four 
days that Capt. Shays and his men were quartered at Pelham after 
his repulse at Springfield and before he marched to Petersham. 
Baldwin and Wright were Pelham men and doubtless subscribed to 
the oath but the record was not filled out. 



Captain Daniel Shays 

Daniel Shays is said to have been born in Hopkinton, Mass. in 1747. 
His parents being poor, and his early education neglected. It is 
also said that he removed from Hopkinton to Great Barrington 
before the Revolutionary war. How long before the war his removal 
occurred we have no record, neither is there any means of determin- 
ing when he came to Pelham. But he was there when the Lexington 
alarm was sent out and joined a company of minute men under 
Capt. Reuben Dickinson of Amhetst. This Company served eleven 
days. Shays was an ensign in this company. Capt. Dickinson 
organized another company May i, 1775, which served three months- 
and eight days and Daniel Shays was sergeant in this company. He 
was promoted for bravery at the battle of Bunker Hill. Shays was 
in Capt. Reuben Dickinson company of Col. Ruggles Woodbridge's- 
Regiment on the expedition to Ticonderoga in 1776 ; was appointed 
lieutenant in Col. Varnum's regiment in 1776 and detached on 
recruiting service ; enlisted a company which he took to West Point, 
whose engagement to serve was conditioned upon his being appoint- 
ed captain. He was not appointed captain and the men were appor- 
tioned to different corps. Shays was at the surrender of Burgoyne 
and at the storming of Stony Point. In 1779 he received a captain's 
commission and was with Col. Putnam's regiment at Newark. N. J., 
in 1780, when he resigned and left the service. 

Capt. Shays probably returned to Pelham soon after resigning his 
position in the army. Landlord Conkey was a friend of the Captain 
and there had been business transactions of some sort between then> 
as shown by the following receipt : 

'•Sudbury February 11 1779 
Received of William Conkey, Jan. tlie soin four hundred dollars. I say 
Re'cd by me. Abigail Shays." 

Abigail Shays was the Captain's wife, and the dating of the paper 
at Sudbury may indicate her place of abode while her husband was 
in the army. 

On the 9th of March 1781, Capt. Shays was chosen a member of 
Committee of Safety at Pelham; was chosen again in 1782 on the 


same committee, and the committee were directed to attend the County 
Convention. He was also chosen one of the town Warden for several 
years, and held that office the year the insurrection broke out. He 
was sent as a delegate to several of the conventions for the consider- 
ation of grievances which began to burden the people before the war 
closed. It was while he was a member of the Committee of Safety 
that he filed the following petition or bill for services at conventions : 

"Pelham March i8 1782 
This is to see if the town will allow me i£ — 17s — 8d for tending the Con- 
vention held at Hatfield and liadley nine days and seven nights. 

Daniel Shays." 

March 26, 1783, Capt. Shays was allowed 12s for attending a 
County Convention. The last office to which he was chosen in Pel- 
ham was as delegate to attend a convention at Hadley in October, 
1786 — but he was excused and another man chosen in his place. 

The farm on which Capt. Shays lived is on the Prescott side of 
the West Branch of Swift river ; for the last hundred years known as 
the "Johnson place." The farm house now on the place is not the 
one occupied by the rebel captain, but is only a little removed from 
the site of the one that preceded it. The farm lays along the middle 
range road and the Old Conkey Tavern was half a mile or so farther 
down the road in the Hollow. Capt. Shays was no stranger at Land- 
lord Conkey's tavern, nor at the hostelry of Dr. Nehemiah Hinds on 
the East Hill, living as he did between the two. 

The open fire-place in the bar room of Landlord Conkey's tavern 
was a pleasant place during the long winter evenings, when the hard 
times began to be felt by the debt burdened farmers, after the war 
was ended. What more fitting place to talk over their troubles than 
beside the great open fire place with its blazing logs, and the well 
filled decanters on the shelves of the bar in the corner behind. 
Here Capt. Shays met the people who came to consult him in regard 
to their grievances. Here the first mutterings of opposition in this 
vicinity were heard, and later developed into defiance of the state 
government, and armed resistance to the Courts and laws. In the 
open space in front of the tavern Capt. Shays drilled the men in the 
use of arms, and as the insurrection assumed greater proportions he 
was called to other parts of the state to organize the excited people. 

Capt. Shays was doubtless poor in a financial sense, and possibly 
■cramped and hampered by debts he was unabled to pay, as many of 

^ ^^ 


K,^5> '^■'' 

. f^^^' 




his neighbors were ; and felt as keenly as they the distress caused 
by the lack of money and the other grievances complained of by the 
people. Whether he had large indebtedness is not known, but a 
note still in existance is evidence that he was unable to settle small 
indebtedness with cash. 

Capt. Shays" Note. 

"For \'alue re'cd I promise to pay to William Conkey or Order the sum 
of Eighteen shillings si.x pence, to be paid by the first of January next with 
interest for the same, as witness my hand. DA\ir:L Shays. 

i^elham Sept i, 1786.'" 

The above note was overdue when he led his deluded followers 
from Springfield back to Pelham on the 28th of January, 1787, and 
was never paid, Milo Abbott of Prescott holds the note. The 
small sum represented by the note may have been a loan from his 
friend Conkey, to whom Shays had extended aid and comfort in pre- 
vious years as shown by the following letter, which is of interest, 
being a copy of an autograph letter of the Captain while stationed at 
Putnams' Heights. The letter is also of use in forming an intelli- 
gent idea of the character and capacity of the insurgent leader ; who, 
though not well educated, had some military experience, — was popu- 
lar and companionable among the people, and had some capacity for 
organizing and directing the movements of the excited insurgents, 
but it seems fair and reasonable to admit that he was not so able a 
leader as might have been chosen from the lar^e number of insur- 
gents in the state. 

■• PUT.NAMS HeKJHTH"" JuXK ^5"' 177.S. 

Mr. Coxkky, Sir: After my kind Requist to you I wish to inform that 1 
am well & in good health, hoping that these will find you & your family as 
well as these leave me. I have wrote to you once before but hearing you 
have not Rec'dmy Letter from me & understand that you have been Drafted 
with these last men I write to you now for you to inform the selectmen 
of the town by sliowing thim this Letter that you have hired Jacob Toorell 
for to do eighteen months service for you on consideration of your paying him 
ten pounds for that space of time which I saw you pay him the money. 

Thinking that these few lines will be sufficient for to clear you for the 
present time I thouglit I would embrace this opportunity to write to you 
for your Security. Having nothing Remarkable for news cK; hoping these 
will find you and yours well I must Conclude. 

Your Friend and Servant, Daniki. Shavs. 

To Mr. William Conkky, Tavern Keeper in Pelham." 



Capt. Daniel Shays defended his action in the rebellion in an inter- 
view with Gen. Rufus Putnam, the revolutionary soldier, seventeen 
days before the attack upon the Springfield Armory. General Put- 
nam reported the interview to Governor Bowdoin : 

'• Rutland, January S, 1787. 

Sir: — As I was coming through Pelham the other day I met Mr. Shays 
in the road alone, where we had a conversation, some of which was of a 
very particular kind. I shall state the whole, by way of dialog, as far as I 
can recollect ; but in order to understand'the meaning of some parts of it, it 
is necessary you should know that the week before they stopped Worcester 
court the last time, I spent many hours with Shays and his officers, endeav- 
oring to dissuade them from their measures, and persuade them to return to 
their allegiance. 

Mr. Shays — Do you know if the petition drawn up at Worcester has been 
sent to the governor or not.? 

Putnam — I am surprised to hear you inquire that of me ; you certainly 
ought to know whether you have sent it, or not — however, since you ask the 
question I tell you I have been credibly informed that so late as last Friday 
it had not been presented. 

Shays — They promised to send it immediately, and it was very wrong 
they did not ; but I don't know that it will alter the case, for 1 don't suppose 
the governor and council will take any notice of it. 

Putnam — You have no reason to expect they will grant the prayer of it. 

Shays — Why not ? 

Putnam — Because many things asked for it is out of their power to grant; 
and besides that since you and your party have once spurned at offered 
mercy, it is absurd to expect that another general pardon should be ever 

Shays — No ! Then we must fight it out. 

Putnam — That as you please, but it's impossible you should succeed, and 
the event will be that you must either run your country or hang, unless you 
are fortunate enough to bleed. 

Shays — By God I'll never run my country. 

Putnam — Why not ? It's more honorable than to fight in a bad cause, 
and be the means of involving your country in a civil war; and that is a 
bad cause ; you have always owned to me; that is, you owned to me at 
Holden, the week before you stopped Worcester court, that it was wrong 
in the people ever to take up arms as they had. 

Shays — So I did, and so I say now, and I told you then and tell you now, 
that the sole motive with me in taking the command at Springfield, was to 
prevent the shedding of blood, which would absolutely have been the case, 
if I had not; and I am so far from considering it as a crime, that I look 
upon it that the government are indebted to me for what I did there. 

Putnam — If that was the case, how came you to pursue the matter.? Why 
did you not stop there ? 


Shays — I did not pursue the matter; it was noised about that the war- 
rants were out after me, and I was determined not to be taken. 

Putnam — This won't do. How came you to write letters to several towns 
in the county of Hampshire, to choose officers and furnish themselves with 
arms and 60 rounds of ammunition ? 

Shays — I never did ; it was a cursed falsehood. 

Putnam — Somebody did in your name, which it can never be presumed 
was done without your approbation. 

Shays — I never had any hand in the matter; it was done by a Committee, 
and Doctor Hunt and somebody else, who I don't know, put my name to the 
copy and sent it to the Governor and Court. 

Putnam — But why did you not take the benefit of the act of indemnity, 
as soon as it passed ? But instead of that, you ordered the whole posse col- 
lected and marched as far as Shrewsbury, in order to go and stop the Court 
at Cambridge. 

Shays — I never ordered a man to march to Shrewsbury, nor anywhere 
else, except when I lay at Rutland. 1 wrote to a few towns in the counties 
of Worcester and Hampshire. You are deceived; I never had half so much 
to do with the matter as you think for, and the people did not know of the 
act of indemnity before they collected. 

Putnam — If they did not you did, for you told me at Holden that you 
knew everything that passed at Court: and that when you talked with Gen. 
Ward at .Shrewsbury you was able to correct him in several things which he 

.Shays — I could tell you— but — 

Putnam — I don't wish to know any of your secrets. But why did you 
not go home with the Hampshire people from Holden, as you told me in the 
evening you would the next morning ? 

Shays — I can tell you, it would not have done. 1 have talked with Maj. 
Goodman. I told him what you said, and he gave it as his opinion the act 
would not have taken us in. 

Putnam — Suppose that to be the case, yet the General Court might have 
extended it to you ; the chance in your favor was much greater before than 
after you had stopped Worcester Court. Why did you not petition, before 
you added that crime to the score? 

Shays — It would have been better; but I cannot see why stopping that 
Court is such a crime that if 1 might have been pardoned before, I should 
be exempted now. 

Putnam— When offered mercy has been once refused, and the crime 
repeated. Government never can with any kind of honor and safety to the 
community pass it over without hanging somebody ; and as you are at the 
head of the insurgents, and the person who directs all their movements, I 
cannot see you have any chance to escape. 

Shays — I at their head ! I am not. 

Putnam— It is said you are first in command, and it is supposed they 
have appointed you tlieir General. 


Shays — I never had any appointment but that at Springfield, nor did I 
ever take command of any men but those of the county of Hampshire ; no 
General Putnam, you are deceived, I never had half so much to do with the 
matter as you think for, nor did I order any men to march, except when at 
Rutland, as I told you before. 
Putnam — Did you not muster the party to go to Springfield the other day ? 
Shays — No, nor had I any hand in the matter, except that I rode down in 
a sleigh. 

Putnam — But I saw your name to the request presented to the justices — 
that you won't deny ? 

Shays — I know it was there, and Grover put it there without my knowl- 
edge ; I wan't got into Springfield when it was done. — the matter was all 
over before I got there and I had no hand in it. 

Putnam — But is it a truth that you did not order the men to march to 
Springfield the other day .^ 

Shays — Yes — I was sent to and refused, and told them I would have 
nothing to do in the matter. 
Putnam — But why ? 

Shays — I told them it was inconsistent after what we had agreed to peti- 
tion, as we did at Worcester, and promised to remain quiet and not to 
meddle with the courts any more, till we knew whether we could get a par- 
don or not. 

Putnam^Have you not ordered the men to march to Worcester the 23d 
of this month .'' 

Shays— No. I was sent to from Worcester county to come down w^th 
the Hampshire men: but I told them I would not go myself nor order any 
men to march. 

Putnam — Who lias done it? Hampshire men are certainly ordered to 

Shays — Upon my refushig to act they have chose a committee, who have 
ordered the men to march. 

Putnam — But how do you get along with these people, having been with 
them so long; how is it possible they will let you stay behind? 

Shays— Well enough. I tell them that I never will have anything more to 
do with stopping Courts, or anything else, but to defend myself, till I know 
whether a pardon can be obtained or not. 

Putnam — And what if you can not get a pardon? 

Shays — Why, then I will collect all the force I can and fight it out: and, I 
swear, so would you or anybody else, rather than be hanged. 

Putnam — I will ask you one question more, you may answer it or not, as 
you please — it is this— Had you an opportunity, would you accept of a par- 
don, and leave these people to themselves ? 
Shays — Yes— in a moment. 

Putnam— Then I advise you to set off this night to Boston, and throw 
yourself upon the mercy and under the protection of Government. 

Shays— No, that is too great a risk, unless I was first assured of a pardon. 


Putnam — There is no risk in the matter, you never heard of a man who 
voluntarily did this, whose submission was not accepted ; and if your sub- 
mission is refused, I will venture to be hanged in your room. 

Shays — In the first place, I don't want you hanged, and in the next place, 
they would not accept of you. 

The only observation I shall make is, that I fully believe he may be 
brought off, and no doubt he is able to inform Government more of the 
bottom of this plot than they know at present. 

I have the honor to be Sir your Ex'y's most obed't and humble servant, 

RuFus Putnam. 


Capt. Shays retreated in much haste from Petersham as far as 
Winchester, N. H., after he was surprised February 4, 1787, by Gen. 
Lincohi's remarkable march through the snowstorm, and three days 
later he had nearly 300 men with him. These dispersed gradually, 
and Shays probably went through Vermont into New York state, as 
many of his followers did. 

On the 9th of February 1787, Gov. Bowdoin issued a proclamation 
ordering the arrest of Daniel Shays of Pelham, Luke Day of West 
Springfield, Adam Wheeler of Hubbardston, and Eli Parsons of 
Adams ; designating them as " Principals and abetters," and a reward 
was offered for their apprehension. The reward was renewed by the 
state authorities in the hope that Capt. Shays might be delivered up 
by officers in whatever state he might be, but he escaped arrest and 
trial for more than a year and then Shays proffered a petition for 
pardon in February 1788, couched in the most humble terms. The 
legislature then in session failed to agree upon granting pardon to 
Shavs, but a full pardon was granted in the summer of 1788. After 
he was pardoned he is said to have returned to Pelham, but there is 
no known record of his living in Pelham after the collapse of the 
rebellion. Nor is there any reliable evidence that he returned to his 
native state as a place of residence, though he may have done so. 
There is general agreement that he did not prosper in business where- 
ever he was located. After living in several different places in New 
York state he drifted to Sparta, Livingston county, where he lived in 
extreme poverty. He died in 1825, when he was 78 years old. His 
grave is said to be marked by a flat stone in the beautiful cemetery 
of Conesus near Scottsburg. Something like ten or twelve yejjrs ago 
there was a movement to set up a large boulder inscribed with his 
name to mark the grave of Capt. Shays ; but it may not have been 
accomplished. Letters of enquiry sent to the local authorities at 



Sparta concerning the rebel captain, his death and place of burial, 
were not answered, and the generally conceded statements given 
above must be accepted as the most authentic obtainable. 

After the rebellion was quelled the movement itself and Capt. 
Shays in particular was the target for ridicule of all sorts. 'I'he would- 
be poets of the time exercised their talents upon him and various 
effusions of poetical doggerell have come down to the present time. 
" The Confession of (Japt. Shays " follows ; also a more extended 
version which was sung by the choir of the Olivet church, Spring- 
field, at the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the 
attempt of Shays upon the arsenal in January, 1887 : 



In former days my name was Shays, 

In Pelham I did dwell, sir: 
But now I'm forced to leave that place. 

Because I did rebel, sir. 

But in this State I lived till late : 

By Satan's foul invention; 
In Pluto's cause against the laws 

I raised an insurrection. 


In hell 'twas planned by obscure hand 
All laws should fail before me, 

Though in disgrace the populace 
Like Persia did adore me. 

On mountain's steed we did proceed. 
Our federal stores to plunder; 

15ut there we met with a back set 
From Shepard'.s warlike thunder. 

They killed four: they wounded more; 

The rest they run like witches; 
Roswell Merrick lost his drum, 

And Curtis split his breeches. 

Which proved too hard for my front guard. 
For they still growing stronger, 

I'm resolved to go to the shades below 
And stay on earth no longer. 

When I arrived at the water side, 
Where Charon kept the ferry, 

I called for quick passage o'er, 
For I dare no longer tarry. 

Then Damon came to Charon's boat. 
And straightly gave him^orders 

To bring no more such rebels o"er, 
If they had no further orders. 

For I have orders sent to me 
That's very strict indeed, sir. 

To bring no more such rebels o'er. 
For they're of Charon's breed, sir. 

Then Damon ordered Shays away 

To gather up his daises ; 
And the service done by him is 

They gave him many praises. 

My name was Shays : in former days. 

In Pelham I did dwell, sir: 
But now I'm forced to leave that place, 

Because I did rebel, sir. 

Within the state I lived, of late, 

By Satan's foul invention. 
In Pluto's cause, against their laws 

I raised an insurrection. 


Twas planned below, by that arch foe. 

All laws should fall before me ; 
Though in disgrace, the populace 

Did Persian-like adore me. 

On mounted steed I did proceed 

The federal stores to plunder ; 
But there I met with a bold salute 

From Sbepard's war-like thunder. 

He kindly sent his aid-de-camp 

To warn me of my treason ; 
But when I did his favors scorn, 

He sent his weighty reason, 

Which proved too hard for my front guard. 

And they still growing stronger, 
I planned to go to world below 

And live on earth no longer. 

And when I reached the river Styx, 

Where Charon kept the ferry, 
I called for speedy passage o'er 

And dared no longer tarry. 

But Charon's boat was freighted with 

Four ghosts from Springfield plain, sir; 
He bade me tarry on the wharf 

Till the boat returned again, sir. 

But while I tarried on the wharf, 

My heart kept constant drumming, 
And conscious guilt made me believe 

'Twas Lincoln's army coming. 

Then Charon hoists his sable sails, 

The lazy gales seemed ling'ring ; 
I leaped into the sulph'rous stream, 

To cross the flood by swimming. 

Then Demon came to Charon's boat 

And strictly gave him orders 
To take no more such rebels o'er, 

Till he enlarged his borders. 

" For I have orders sent to me 

That's very strict indeed, sir, 
To bring no more such rebels o"er, 

They're such a cursed breed, sir." 


"Go tell that rebel to return. 

And he shall be well-guarded, 
And for the service done for me 

I'll see him well rewarded." 

Then Charon ordered Shays right back 

To gather up his daisies, 
And for the service done for him 

He gave him many praises. 

'I'hen Shays was wroth, and soon replied. 

" O 1 Charon, thou art cruel !"' 
And challenged him to come on shore 

And fight with him a duel. 

Then Charon straightway ordered Shays 
To leave the river's bank, sir ; 

For he would never fight a man 
.So much below his rank, sir. 

Then Shays returned to Vermont state 
Chagrined and much ashamed, sir: 

y\nd soon the mighty, rebel host 
Unto our laws were tamed, sir. 

Oh, then our honored fathers sat 

With a bold resolution. 
And framed a plan and sent to us 

Of noble constitution. 

America, let us rejoice 

In our new constitution. 
And never more pretend to think 

Of another revolution. 

Settlement of Salem, N. Y, 


Less than twenty years after the incorporation of the town of Pel- 
ham the restless unsatisfied spirit developed itself as it always does 
among the true pioneers who push out to the edge of civiUzation and 
beyond to establish new settlements, and in the spring of 1761 
James Turner and Joshua Conkey, Pelham men but not among those 
who drew home lots in the first division of land in 1739, started out 
to begin another settlement in the forests of New York state in the 
neighborhood of Crown Point where it is probable both men had seen 
service, in the French and Indian war which resulted in the conquest 
of Canada in 1760. 

These men may have discovered that the lands in that section 
were not so rough and stony as the tract of land on which they had 
settled in Hampshire county and made up their minds to improve 
their condition. At any rate they set out from Pelham in the spring 
of the year 1761 and made the journey through the wilderness, to 
Charlotte county, New York, since changed to Washington county, 
and selected lands on the flats where the village of Salem is now 
situated. Turner and Conkey spent the summer there and returned 
to Pelham to spend the following winter. In the spring of 1762 
they set forth again on horseback for White Creek, as the new settle- 
ment was called by these settlers from New England, while other 
settlers in that neighborhood, Scotch Presbyterians from Ballibay, 
Ireland in 1765, insisted upon calling the settlement New Perth, 
from Perth, Scotland. On this journey they were accompanied by 
Hamilton McCoUister another Pelham man, and these three were the 
original settlers of the town now known as Salem, and the spot 
where their cabin was built is now occupied by the On-da-wa House. 
Each man selected a tract of land for himself. Turner taking the 
land west of the cabin, and McCollister went up the creek a little for 
his selection, while Conkey went up the creek for a mile or so and 


located. The summer was spent upon the lands they had selected 
and when winter came they returned to Pelham. The summer of 
1763 was spent in making improvements on their lands and the jour- 
ney back to Pelham was made late in the autumn for the winter 

In the spring of 1764 the three men, two with families, set out 
from Pelham to make the journey to White Creek on horseback, with 
all their household effects also strapped upon the backs of horses. 
In this way they journeyed through the forests, and forded the many 
streams along the route. 

These people were the first actual settlers in Washington County. 
Other families from Pelham, Colraine, Sturbridge and perhaps other 
Massachusetts towns joined them in years following and the settle- 
ment was quite properly known as the '"New England Colony." 
They were the founders of the Salem Church known as " The 
first Incorporated Presbyterian Congregation in Salem, County of 
Washington, and State of New York. " 

The following tribute of respect, and estimate of the character of 
the settlers from Pelham and other Massachusetts towns, we copy 
from an Historical Sketch of the Presbyterian Church of Salem by 
Rev. Edward P. Sprague pastor, 1876. 

"The settlers from Massachusetts were persons of a character to place 
the very highest estimate upon all religious privileges, and whose first care 
after providing liouses for their families would certainly be to secure for 
them the sacred influences of the church and the preached Gospel. 

Whatever they might feel compelled to forego on occount of their loca- 
tion and circumstances, they woul I never consent to neglect the establish- 
ment and maintainance of the ordinances of religion. We find therefore as 
we might expect, that previous to their leaving New England they took 
measures for securing to themselves a distinct church organization. And 
this design they never abandoned, even after the settlement of Dr. Clark's 
Colony (from Ballibay, Ireland) furnished them with the opportunity of atten- 
ding Christian worship. 

They might have joined themselves with the church thus transplanted 
hither from Ireland, and the two colonies thus have been merged in one 
ecclesiastically, as well as socially, but the points of difference between 
themselves and the Scotch seem in the main to have presented almost insur- 
mountable obstacles. There were at intervals certain more favorable sea- 
sons when such a union was contemplated, and even appeared ready for 
consumation, but it was never actually accomplished, and the New England 
people remained, wliat they liad been from the first, a distinct religious 


The desire and purpose of those who had journeyed from Pelham 
for the early establishment of Gospel privileges in the new settlement 
seems to have been the same as was manifested by the settlers of Pel- 
ham, and the first sermon ever preached in White Creek or Salem 
was delivered in the cabin of James Turner by Rev. Dr. Clark a 
Scotchman from Ballibay. Three years after the settlement of Con- 
key, Turner and McCoUister with their families, or in the year 1767, 
and soon after there had been further accessions of Massachusetts 
people, they felt that they must secure a preacher of the Gospel to 
settle among them, and a letter was written to Rev. David McGreg- 
orie of Londonderry, N. H. a member of the Presbytery which was 
organized or constituted in 1745 by Rev. John Moorehead of Boston, 
Rev. David McGregorie of Londonderry, N. H., Rev. l^obert Aber- 
crombie of Pelham with Messrs Alexander Conkey of Pelham and 
James McKeon and James Hughes, at a meeting in Londonderry 
on the 16th of xYpril of that year, and called the Boston Presbytery. 

The reason for writing to Rev. Mr. McGregorie was unquestion- 
ably the fact that many of the Pelham men who had settled at White 
Creek were acquainted with Mr. McGregorie, having met him at Pel- 
ham before moving to the state of New York. The letter follows. 

To the Reverend Mr. David McGregorie 
Reverend and Dearly Beloved — Grace and l^eace be Multiplied, &c. 

This Comes to you by the hand of Dea. Mc Mullen A Gentleman Chosen 
and Appointed by us for the purpose viz. — Once more to Implore your pres- 
ence and assistance, in our Destitute Circumstances in order to open a way 
for the rasettlemeat of the Gospel among us — The reason which induce us 
to send for yourself Rather than for any other of our Fathers in the presby- 
tery are our Sensibility of your more peculiar acquaintance with our People, 
Backed by their unanimous Voice for you in particular, — We hope that the 
knowledge you have of our State, the Love and Regard we trust you bear 
for us, together with the prospect you herein have of the promotion of the 
Interests of our Common Lord, will by no means fail to preponderate in our 
Favor— and that our Sister Church will sympathise with us so far as cheer- 
fully to part with you till you can come over to our Macedonia once more 
to help us, since we hope that God is in his tender providence putting an end 
to our Difficulties in some good measure and that this is one of the Last 
times we shall be necessitated to entreat your presence in an affair of like 
Nature. For further particulars Please enquire of Deacon McMuUen. 
And now that God may incline your heart to assist us. Bring you safe on 
your Journey and make your Coming and our concerns to terminate Ultim- 
ately in his own Glory is the prayer of Reverend Sir 

Vour servants in Christ, 
John Gray, John Savage, Alexander Tukxek, James Bekkv, Elders. 


These names signed to the above letter are all of them men who 
had only recently come from Pelham and joined the pioneers, also 
from Pelham, who first took up lands at White Creek in 1761. 
John Savage, married Eleanor Hamilton of Rutland Jan. 16, 1733. 

The name of John Savage appears on the records of Pelham as 
early as 1747 when he was chosen to represent the town at the 

He was on a committee to provide school masters April 30, 1751, 
was moderator of a town meeting in 1752. was on a committee to 
see about legalizing certain town meeting actions, 1753, was on com- 
mittee to represent the town at the Superior C'ourt at Springfield, 
in 1757, was on a committee whose duty it was to make answer to a 
petition that had been sent to the General Court in Jan. 1764. 

John Savage was allowed 12 shillings for pasturing horses at the 
ordination of Rev. Richard Crouch Graham in 1764, John Savage 
and James Harkness were alloted pew No. 10 in the Old Meeting 
House at l^elham March 28. 1766. 

From this last date the name of John Savage does not again 
appear on the records of the town, nor is there mention of his leav- 
ing the state of Massachusetts, but there can be no doubt of his 
removal from Pelham in 1766. Pelham lost an able and valuable 
citizen and the settlement of White Creek gained one. 

John Gray, another of those whose names are subscribed to the 
letter to Mr. McGregorie. married Martha Savage. April 17. 1755. 
His connection with the Savage family is reason sufficient for his 
being at White Creek at about the same date as John Savage. 

Alexander Turner was one of the original settlers of Pelham and 
drew home lot No. 46, and built a sawmill. 

'Phe surname Berry was not among the original settlers of Pelham 
but there must have been men of that name in town not long after 
the first settlers took up the tract, and there never has been a time 
since until now when there were not families of that name in the town 
or its immediate vicinity. 

James Turner of Pelham was married to Susannah Thomas of 
Worcester, April i, 1760. Joshua Conkey and Dinah Dick, both of 
Pelham, were married April 13. 1762. These last are the two young 
men who spent the summer of 1761 on lands they had secured at 
VV'hite Creek, onlv one of them married at the time. 


Joseph McCracken, of Worcester, was married to Sarah Turner, of 
Pelham, Feb. 12, 1760. Miss Turner was doubtless the sister of 
James Turner. McCracken was a prominent man at White Creek 
and a captain in the Revohitionary war. 

Thomas Morrison, of Londonderry, N. H.. was married to Martha 
Clark, of Pelham, Feb. 11. 1762. He was an early settler at White 

Hamilton McCollister, the companion of Conkey and Turner on 
their return to White Creek from Pelham in the spring of 1762 and 
who was with them in 1764 when they made the new settlement 
their permanent abiding place, came back to Pelham three years- 
later, and was married to Sarah Dick, Oct. 15, 1767. 

The royal grant of the land on which the New England colony 
settled was given August 17, 1764; it consisted of 25,000 acres, and 
was granted in response to a petition presented by .Alexander and 
James Turner, and twenty-five others in January 1763. The terms 
were an annual quit-rent of two shillings for each hundred acres, 
with all the mines, and all pine trees above a certain size, reserved 
to the crown. One-half of this tract they conveyed by deed to Oliver 
DeLancey and Peter Dubois of New York. Following the plan they 
knew was adopted at Pelham twenty-five years previous, the tract of 
land was divided into 304 lots, each half a mile long and containing 
88 acres. Three lots drawn by DeLancey and Dubois and three 
belonging to '-the proprietors"' were reserved for the support of the 
minister and a schoolmaster. 

The colony from Ballibay, Ireland, that came in 1765, purchased 
DeLancey's and Dubois's land under Dr. Clark the leader of the 
colony. The two colonies, viz. the Scotch colony from P'allibay and 
the New England colony lived near by each other under the most 
friendly relations socially, but a certain society rivalry sprang up 
between them and prevented them from joining harmoniously in one 
church organization under Rev. Dr. Clark as their minister. The 
New England colony charged the people of the Scotch colony with a 
desire to secede from them. A document drawn up by Joshua Con- 
key, one of the three first settlers from Pelham, explaining the 
purposes of the New England colony, bearing as an endorsement 
" The petition presented to Dr. Clark and his Elders," dated Sept. 
16, 1771. exhibits to some extent the disturbed feeling existing. 
between the two Presbyterian bodies. 


"Whereas we for sometime have had it in our hearts to lUiild a house of Pub- 
lick Worship for God & for fear of further Disputes & Contention we think 
proper to enter into agreement in writing as we have hade some Evidence of 
late of a separation by those who take to themselves the name of seceders 
by there staying from publick Worship when a member of the Philadelphia 
Signod priched in this place who was Regerly sent forth to prich and admin- 
ister ordinances wherever he might be cold in this vacant part of Gods vin- 
yard — therefore We the subscribers do unanomesiy agree to joyn in build- 
ing a house for the Worship of God with those who subscrilie tlie foloing 
articles, viz. 

1. that we the Subscribers do bind our selvs we shall have and give free 
liberty to ordain or install a minister of the Philadelphia Signod or one in 
■connection with them in said house or at least to joyn in the ordination or 

Instalment of any one that shall be coled by the Majority of the Inliabit- 
ance of this place that subscrice to tliis. 

2. that we shall not be consigned to that set of people Coled soceders. 
White Creek, i6 Jept. 1771. 

Joshua Conkey, James Moor, Alexander 'I'urner. 

Edward Savage, Hugh Moor, John Ciray, 

Frances Lammon, John Nevens, Samuel Hyndmand, 

Hamilton McCollister, John Savage, Edward Long, 

Timothy Titus, James Turner, James Savage, 

Ebenezer Russell, Joseph McCracken, Reuben Turner, 

Daniel McCollister, Moses Martin. . , ''^■' ,,. , , 

Launard + \V ebb. 

The foregoing document with the signatures was not received 
•with satisfaction by Dr. Clark and his people, and at a session of 
that society it was taken up and considered carefully and replied to. 

There was quite a little spicy correspondence between the two 
societies resulting from the document written by Joshua Conkey and 
the result was, to make a union of the two societies impossible, and 
the New England colony proceeded to carry out their purpose to 
continue as an independent organization and to build a meeting house 
for their own use. Their first meeting-house was sometime building 
and perhaps not used much previous to 1774, and was never finished. 

They began to worship in it when there was only a roof to protect 
them from the weather, and before the sides were boarded or a floor 
laid. After the Revolutionary war broke out the uncompleted meet- 
ing hovise was used first as a barrack by the patriot forces and then 
strengthened and made to serve as a fort. Logs set close together 
in the ground made a stockade about sixty feet from the building 
and extending around it, and was finished July 26, 1777. The 
meeting house having been changed into a fort it was first called tiie 



Salem fort, the name was afterwards changed to Fort Williams, in 
honor of Gen. John Williams. 

In the autumn following the erection of the stockade all the peo- 
ple, save perhaps a few tories, were obliged to leave the place, leaving 
their homes and property because of the advance of Gen. Burgoyne 
and his forces upon the town. The meeting house fort was burned 
to the ground during the last days of August or early September. 

Col. Joseph McCracken, was at one time in command of the pat- 
riot forces that occupied the meeting house fort, — and the same man 
already referred to as the husband of Sarah Turner of Pelham. He 
was a brave soldier and later lost an arm at the battle of Monmouth. 

At the close of the Revolutionary war the people of the New Eng- 
land colony were very poor,having lost heavily by reason of Burgoyne's 
army invading the town, and no attempt was made to erect a meeting 
house in place of the one burned for about ten years, and in the mean 
time they worshiped with the people of the other presbyterian church 
or had a minister occasionally to preach to their own people. 

A new meeting house was erected on the same lot on which the 
first one stood, and a part of Hamilton McCollister's original tract, 
which is held in trust by the society for use as a church and for no other 
use. In 1788, Nov. 14, Savage and Conkey attorneys for the propri- 
tors executed a deed which conveyed to the trustees of the New Eng- 
land congregation the three lots, numbered 91, 188, and 192 "for the 
sole use of supporting a regular gospel minister of the presbyterian per- 
suasion belonging to the Synod of New York and Philadelphia, in 
and over said congregation in Salem." The second meeting house 
was seventy-five feet long and sixty feet wide with the pulpit and 
sounding board on one side of the audience room, and the pews were 
the usual square high box-like enclosures of the olden time. 

The first pastor settled over this church was the Rev. John \^'ar- 
ford of Amwell N. J. who commenced his labors in 1788, laboring 
with great success until his death in 1802. 

The original membership of the first incorporated presbyterian 
congregation in Salem, the one founded by New England people, 
quite a number of whom were from Pelham, Mass., consisted of fifty- 
two persons. For fifty years following the membership is said not to 
have exceeded one hundred. In 1828 there was a membership of 
two hundred and eighty. In 1832 the number had increased to four 
hundred and twenty-six. This was the highest number ever reached, 


and from that time the decrease in membership "began. In 1842 
there was only three hundred and five members, in 1876 the num- 
ber was one hundred and seventy-three, and a little over two hun- 
dred in 1896. 

The little settlement begun by James Turner and Joshua Conkey in 
1 76 1 makes a much better showing to-day than the old town of Pel- 
ham from which they sallied forth, and plunged into the wilderness 
to reach and establish their new home. 

The village of Salem contains about twelve hundred inhabitants 
and in the whole town there was about four thousand, while Pelham 
has only four hundred and eighty-six. The main facts of the above 
sketch of the settlement of Salem were gathered from The Salem Book 
printed in 1896, and other historical pamphlets relating to the town 
of Salem, N. Y. 

The people who went out from f'elhain through the forests to begin 
a new settlement at White Creek were quite peaceable men and 
women who respected the rights of others and at the same time 
resented any and all invasions of their own rights and privileges, and 
would not hesitate to oppose any one whom they believed was endea- 
voring in any way to prevent the full enjoyment of their liberties. 
They made no exceptions when the King's officers came among them 
armed with authority from the King's representatives, if they knew 
the charges had no basis of fact to rest upon ; any officer who came 
among them under such circumstances was liable to meet with a hot 
reception. This estimate of the temper of Scotch farmers of that 
time is borne out by the reception extended to Sheriff Solomon Bolt- 
wood of Amherst who made an official visit to Pelham on the twelfth 
of February 1762. Just what his official business may have been 
does not appear, but the manner in which he was received makes it 
quite clear that the official errand was considered an affront which 
justified resistance by every means at hand, the men and the women 
taking part in resisting him, the weapons selected being those that 
were most handy when the determination to resist seized them. 

The resistance to the sheriff evidently occured on the twelfth of 
February 1762, but the record of the trial and acquittal is dated a 
year later and is copied from the court records at Northampton. 

•'Northampton Kkii. iS, 1763. 

De Rf.X VS SAVA(!R &c. 

John Worthington Esq. Attorney to our .Soverign Lord the King in this 
I)eliall' liere instantly complains and give this court to understand and be 
informed that John Savage of Pelham in the County of Hampshire (ient. 


Alexander Turner Yeoman, Alexander Turner Jun. Yeoman, James Turner, 
Yeoman, Rol)ert Gilmore, Yeoman, Hamilton McCollister, Veqman, Jane 
Savage, Spinster, wife of John Savage Jun., Elisibeth Savage, Spinster, 
Eleanor McCollister, Spinster, and Sarah Drane, Spinster, all of Pelham 
aforesaid, did at said Pelham on the 12th day of F'el)ruary last past, with 
force and arms, that is to say, with Axes, Clubs, sticks, hot water and hot soap 
in a riotous and tumultinous manner and riotously and unlawfullv meet and 
assemble themselves together to disturb the peace of the said Lord the King, 
and the said John Savage, Alexander Turner, Alexander Turner Jun., James 
Turner, Robert Gilmore, Hamilton McCollister, Jane Savage, Eleanor Mc- 
Collister, Elisibeth Savag-e, and Sarah Drane, being so met and assembled 
together did then and there with force and arms made an assault' on one 
Solomon Boltwood of Amherst, then, and ever since being a Deputy Sheriff 
under Oliver Partridge Esq. Sheriff of said County, he being then in due 
execution of his said office and in the peace of God and of the said Lord 
the King, and then and there uttered menace and threatenings of bodily hurt 
and death against said Solomon, and then and there, with force and arms 
obstructed, opposed, hindered and wholly prevented said Solomon from the 
due execution of his said office contrary to law, and against the peace of the 
said Lord the King, his crown and dignity, and now comes before ye court 
the said John Savage, Gent., and Alexander lirst above named, the said Jane. 
Elisibeth. and Sarah being held by Recognisance for this purpose, the said 
James. Robert and ye other Alexander not being present, and being set to 
the bar and severally put to plead and answer to the premise, they the said 
de'fts severally plead that they were in nothing guilty of the same and thereof 
put themselves on ye County. 

A Jury being sworn according to law to try the issue between our said 
Lord the King, and the said Def'ts after a full hearing return tlieir \erdict 
therein, that is, the jury on their oath say the said Def'ts are not guilty. It is 
thereupon ordered that the Def'ts be dismissed and ye go without day."' 

The result of the trial being a verdict of not guilty for the heinous 
offence charged was so complete a vindication of those whose names 
appear in the indictment that we are forced to the conclusion that 
" axes, clubs, sticks, hot water, and hot soap " were fit weapons for 
resistance to injustice of some sort at the hands of the sheriff of said 
Lord the King. 

We cannot but admire the grit and vim displayed by these men and 
women in resistance to what this King's officer was commissioned to 
preform if they knew there was no valid reason for his pre.sence among 
them. It seems to have been a case of justifiable self defence, and 
the jury by their verdict were evidently unaminous in that view of the 
case. A year later and some of men and women started out on 
horseback on the long journey through the forest to begin the settle- 
ment at White Creek now Salem, Washington county N. Y. If there 
could have been any question of their qualifications for pioneering 
and taking care of themselves in a new .settlement the above episode 
from the court records would be amply suflicient to dispel all doubts 
on that score. Not all of the self-reliant and plucky men and women 
went out from Pelham to White Creek, there were others of the same 
self-reliant positive sort left in the old town. 

Professional and Business Men, 


The Southworths. — The Southworth family, a branch of which 
settled in Pelham during the latter part of the last century and 
probably after the Revolutionary war, is traced in an unbroken 
line from Sir Gilbert Southworth of Southworth Hall, Lancaster, 
England, in the fourteenth century through ten generations in 
that country. The following is the line : Sir Gilbert, Sir John, Sir 
Thomas, Richard Southworth of Salisbury, Sir Christopher, Sir 
John, Sir Thomas of Warrington, Richard of London. Sir Thomas, 
recorder of wills, Somersetsthire, to Edward who in 159H married 
Alice Carpenter, daughter of Alexander Carpenter. 

Mr. Edward Southworth with his two sons Thomas and Constant, 
fled to Holland with the Pilgrim Eathers who left England on 
account of the persecution of Dissenters by the Church of England. 
After a few years residence in the city of Leyden Mr. Southworth 
died. Alice Southworth the widow of Edward came over to this 
country in 1623 and married Governor William Bradford second 
Governor of the colony at Plymouth. Her sons Thomas and 
Constant followed their mother to America in 1628. Constant was 
born in 16 14. In 1639 he married Elizabeth Coltier of Duxbury, 
and three sons were born to them Edward, Nathaniel and William. 

Edward, son of Nathaniel, had four sons, Constant, Edward, Sam- 
uel and Benjamin. 

Edward married Lydia Packard, J)ec. 16, 1750, to them were born 
Uriah, Perez, Desire, Edward, Abiah, Bridget, Lydia and Fear. 
All of these children of Edward and Lydia, except Perez, removed 
from liridgewater to Pelham. 

Abiah Southworth married Kesiah Boltwood of Amherst in 1794. 

Wells Southworth. — Wa> the son of Dr. Abiah Southworth 
and Kesiah J^oltwood Southworth, and was born in Pelham 
August 17, 1799. He first engaged in business at Pelham in 1823 






as a merchant, continuing the business at the center of the town 
until 1828 when he disposed of his store and the family homestead 
without consulting his father, so it is said. Dr. Southworth was 
somewhat disturbed at first, but having such great confidence in his 
son's good judgement and business foresight that he acquisced in 
the business change thereby necessitated, and the family removed to 
South Hadley Falls, where Wells opened as a merchant. 

Wells Southworth removed to Chicopee Falls and continued in the 
mercantile line until 1839 when he removed to Mittineague, West 
Springfield, where he built a mill for manufacturing fine writing 
papers, now owned by the Southworth Paper Co. and for many years 
was the president of the corporation. 

In 1 85 4 Mr. Southworth removed from West Springfield to New 
Haven, Conn. In the spring of the following year he organized the 
City of New Haven Fire Insurance Company and was president of 
the company for ten years. He was a stockholder and director in 
the Tradesman's Bank of New Haven for many years from its organ- 
ization. Mr. Southworth was also a large stockholder in the New 
York, New Haven and Hartford railroad, and engaged in other 
business enterprises. In early life he was a Whig in politics and 
later a republican was elected a member of the Massachusetts legisla- 
ture for two years from Springfield, and one year represented 
West Springfield in the House. Mr. Southworth was living in Pelham 
when Amherst College was established at Amherst and was greatly 
interested as a young man in the enterprise, and did what he could 
to aid in building south college, the first building erected. He drove 
a yoke of cattle from Pelham with the first load of stone delivered 
on College hill for the foundation of south dormitory, and they 
to-day are doing their part in supporting the walls of that well 
known and most ancient building on the college grounds. 

Mr. Southworth was married three times. His first wife was Miss 
Rebecca C. Woodburn of Salem, Mass., she died in 1839. ^o^ his 
second wife he married Mrs. Frances R. Lyon, daughter of Mrs. E. 
T. Smith of South Hadley. In 1845 he married Miss Harriet M.. 
Jillet of Rome, N. Y. 

The other members of Dr. Southworth's family were as follows : 
Rufus, Mary, Edward and Martha. 

Rufus was born in 1796 and died at Charleston S. C. in 1828.. 


Edward, born in 1804 and died in 1869. Mary, born Nov. 6, 1797, 
died in Pelham, 1872. Martha, born May 10, 1807, married Robert 
Curtis of Bridgewater. 

Dr. Abiah Southworth died at South Hadley Falls, Dec. 27, 1835. 
His wife, Kesiah Boltwood, died in April of the same year. 

Edward Southworth, son of Dr. Abiah Southworth, and 
brother of Wells and Rufus was born in Pelham July 3, 1804. 
Attended the public schools of the town until he was sixteen, was then 
sent to Amherst academy where he prepared for college. He entered 
Harvard College in 1822 and was gradviated in 1826 in a class which 
numbered many eminent men among its members. After graduation 
he went to Charleston S. C. as instructor in ancient languages, in an 
academy which his brother Rufus had established, and was the prin- 
cipal. Rufus died in 1828 at 32, and Edward succeeded him as prin- 
cipal of the school, but was obliged to return to the north in 
1833 on account of ill health. On his return from Charleston he was 
engaged in business at South Hadley Falls for several years, then 
removed to West Springfield and with his brother Wells established 
The Southworth Manufacturing Company, for making fine writing 
papers ; was postmaster several years at West Springfield, and in 
1853 was elected as representative to the Legislature and served two 
years. He waselected state senator in 1854 but would not take his 
seat which had been contested by another candidate, although the 
seat was accorded to him and against his opponent by vote of that 
honorable body. 

With his cousin John H. Southworth of Springfield and his brother 
Wells he organized the Hampshire Paper Company of South Hadley 
Falls, and The Hampden Paint and Chemical Company of Springfield 
Mass ; was treasurer of the Southworth Manufacturing Company ; 
director of the Fire and Marine Insurance Company of Springfield, 
and of the Agawam bank of the same city, and of the Massasoit paper 
company of Holyoke, and a trustee of the Hampden Savings Bank of 

He was a trustee of Mount Holyoke Seminary from its opening 
until his death in 1869 at West Springfield. Mr. Southworth was 
for many years a member of the First Congregational Church at 
West Springfield and for thirty years one of its deacons. 

He was married three times and six children survived him. 



Daniel Thompson, M.D., son of James and Matilda Thompson, 
was born in Pelham, Jan. 14, 1800, where his father and grandfather 
had passed most of their lives as farmers. The maiden name of his 
paternal grandmother was Mary Cowan, a surname that appears 
among the first settlers of the town, and Mary Cowan was of Scotch 
descent. His mother was Matilda Pierce of Middleboro, Mass. He 
was educated by attendance at tlie public schools of his native town, 
and at Amherst Academy. His medical education was obtained at 
Northampton, supplemented by the full course of lectures at the Berk- 
shire Medical Institution at Pittstield during the years from 1823 to 

He began the practice of his profession at Pelham in 1825 and 
remained there twelve years. In 1827 he married Caroline A. Hunt, 
daughter of Dr. David Hunt of Northampton, and in 1837 ^^• 
Thompson removed to Northampton. In 1839 he entered into 
copartnership with Dr. Benjamin Barrett, with whom he had studied, 
and they were associated together for seven years when Dr. Barrett 
retired from active practise, and from the firm. 

His next partner in business was his brother Dr. James Thompson 
also a native of Pelham, and the brothers were associated in business 
until the death of Dr. James, Aug. 6, 1859. Dr. James Thompson 
was a skillful physician and had an extensive practice in Northamp- 
ton and vicinity. After the death of Dr. James, Dr. Daniel naturally 
turned to his nephew Dr. A. W. Thompson who was then admitted to 
partnership for a few years, and then it was dissolved, and from that 
time until his death May 25, 1883, he pursued his chosen profession 

Dr. Daniel Thompson was a skillful and successful physician who 
secured a competance by his profession, and was noted for gen- 
erosity and liberality in the use of the means he had gathered during 
his long professional career. 

Austin W. Thompson, A. M., M. D., was born in Pelham, May 
22, 1834. 

His father, Peleg P. Thompson, died when his son Austin was but 
four years old and the boy was received into the family of Dr. Daniel 
Thompson then living at Pelham, and a few years later went with 
the Doctor's family to Northampton. 

He laid the foundation of his education by attending the public 
schools and later was a student in the Northampton Collegiate Ins- 


titute. After finishing his course at the Institute he decided upon a 
thorough college course and was fitted for college by Rev. Rufus 

He graduated at Harvard College in 1854, having the "salutatory " 
oration. x'\fter graduation he read law a few months with Judge 
Huntington. Tiring of the study of law he decided to turn his 
attention to medicine and began his studies with his uncle Dr. Dan- 
iel Thompson, and on completing them began practise, making a 
specialty of mental diseases, and was appointed assistant superin- 
tendent at the Northampton Lunatic Hospital, which he held for two 

Resigning his position on account of failing health he resumed 
general practice, and later established the institution known as Shady 
Lawn, a medical home for invalids. 

He was president of the Hampshire County Medical Society in 
1856 and 1857, and was a member of the Massachusetts Medical 

Ira P. Rankin was born in Pelham, Jan. 10, 181 7, in that part 
of the town known as " The Valley." He was a son of Zebina Ran- 
kin. Zebina Rankin's ancestors were from the north of Ireland, 
where many of the people of Scotland had lived previous to their 
coming to Massachusetts and to Pelham. The surname first appears 
upon the records written Rinkin, then Rinken, and later Rankin. 

Zebina Rankin removed from Pelham to Ohio when Ira P. was 
about fourteen years of age. The son plead with his father to be 
allowed to remain in Massachusetts and his request was finally 
acceded too. After the removal of his father and the rest of the fam- 
ily to Ohio, Ira went to Enfield and entered the store of Oliver Bry- 
ant, where he was employed for several years. 

Mr. Rankin was married to Miss Caroline Bryant, a cousin of Wil- 
liam Cullen Bryant at Northampton, in 1841. Mrs. Rankin died in 
1881, leaving no children. From Enfield he went to Boston. 

After residing in Boston for nearly twenty years he removed to 
San Francisco. This was about the year 1852, soon after the dic- 
covery of gold and the rush for that state was on. 

He engaged in business there, was successful, became a member 
of The Chamber of Commerce and continued a member for twenty- 
seven years; was a prominent church man and a liberal giver of his 



wealth to benevolent purposes originating with the churches and 


Mr. Rankin received the appointment as collector of the port of 
San Francisco from President Abraham Lincoln, and performed the 
duties of that responsible position with ability, and great credit to 
himself and to the satisfaction of the merchants of San Francisco as 
well as to the government at Washington. 

Mr. Rankin's first business venture in San Francisco was in a gen- 
eral commission firm on Front street, under the name of Rankin & Co. 
This was so successful that after a few years he was enabled to sell 
out at a profit and became a partner in the Pacific Iron Works. The 
firm name, Goddard & Co., was changed to Rankin & Brayton after 
his entrance. This firm was one of the largest of its kind on the 
coast. It dealt in mining machinery, marine and milling goods. 
After many years Mr. Rankin absorbed all the interests of the firm, 


and at his retirement, when the Pacific Iron Works became absorbed 
in the Union Works he was sole owner. 

The political interests of Mr. Rankin were always on the side of 
the Republican party. He took an active part in the formation of 
the party in the state. Before that he took an active interest in the 
People's party. He was a most pronounced Whig. In 1856 and 
again in 1875 he was the Republican candidate for Congress, and 
was defeated each time. 

The positions of public trust that Mr. Rankin has filled in San 
Francisco are numerous. He was one of the original Trustees of the 
College of California, and did active work for the bill incorporating 
it as a University. During the iron moulders' strike Mr. Rankin 
was placed at the head of the Manufacturers' Association, organized 
against them. For twenty-seven years he was a member of the 
Chamber of Commerce, and in 1889 was its President. He was a 
Trustee of the Lick Trust, and President and life member of the 
Mercantile Library. 

Mr. Rankin was actively interested in philanthropic matters, and 
for that reason was many years a Trustee in the Society for the Pre- 
vention of Cruelty to Children, the Society for the Prevention of 
Cruelty to Animals, and the Society for the Suppression of Vice. 
He was Chairman of the State Board of Commissioners for selecting 
a site for the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, and also Chairman of the 
Building Committee of the same institution. He was I^resident of 
the Engineers' and Foundrymen's Association, of San Francisco, and 
interested in all matters pertaining to the iron business. 

Mr. Rankin died October i, 1895. highly esteemed as a business 
man and christian. His funeral was attended by many of the first 
citizens and business men of the city of San Francisco. After the 
close of the exercises a stranger stepped forward and announced 
himself as Edward Rankin, a brother of the deceased. 

None present had ever seen the man nor had anyone ever heard of 
Ira P. having a brother or even relatives of any degree nearer than 
cousins. The stranger backed his claims by offering to bring for- 
ward proofs of his kinship, which he did to the satisfaction of all. 
Edward Rankin proved by indisputable facts and records that he 
was a son of Zebina Rankin, born in Ohio, and that he came to 
California about three years after Ira came from Boston, and he had 
resided within fifty miles of San Francisco during all the years, 




OR. J.\.\ir-:S DL XLAI 



since 1854. He had known of his brother by hearing of his pro- 
minence as a business man and public officer, but had not taken pains 
to claim blood relationship until he learned of the death of his dis- 
tinguished brother. 

Edward Rankin is a carpenter by trade. An industrious, honest 

James Dunlap, M. D., was the son of John and Mary Dunlap, 
born in Pelham, February 13, 1819. 

The name Dunlap appears on the records of the town as early as 
1743, but no one of the name was among those who drew home lots 
after the first survey in 1739. 

The family is of Scotch descent and the Dunlap farms were located 
about a mile southwest of the center of the town. There appear 
upon the records the names of Andrew, James, and William Dunlap, 
besides John already alluded to. William was familiarly known as 
Uncle Billy, and was noted for his broad Scotch accent in conver- 
sation. Dr. Dunlap attended the district schools of his native town 
and became a teacher, or schoolmaster, in Pelham, and possibly in 
other nearby towns. He was a student at Williston Seminary, in 
the first class at the opening of the institution, and fitted for admis- 
sion to Amherst College and entered that institution in 1843, where 
he remained until 1845. Five years later he graduated at the Col- 
lege of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and at once 
entered upon the practice of his profession at Northampton, where 
he continued actively engaged for forty-five years or more, or until 
his death, August 3, 1896. 

At the time of his death Dr. Dunlap was the oldest practising 
physician in the city. He was devoted to his profession and never 
refused to answer a call for his services, whether it came from the 
rich or the poor. His office was always open for consultation to 
those who needed his services, and during the latter part of his life 
answered calls to visit the sick that much younger men in the pro- 
fession had declined because of the distance, the cold or storm. 
He never took a vacation from his business, and was never married. 
He was quiet and retiring in his tastes, was rarely seen in social as- 
semblies, and seldom took an active part in any movement of public 
interest, he seemed to detest anything like personal publicity and 
never sought to gain a reputation for himself by the common methods 


employed by many good men. Dr. Dunlap never sought offices of 
trust and responsibility, yet he was called to serve as a director in the 
Hampshire County National Bank at the time of its incorporation, 
and held the position until he resigned, in 1880. He was also one 
of the Trustees of the Hampshire Savings Bank for many years, and 
at the time of his death was senior Vice-president of the institution. 
He served as President of the Hampshire County Medical Society 
for several years and was much interested in everything pertaining 
to the welfare of the organization. He gave much time and atten- 
tion to forwarding the establishment of the Dickinson Hospital, was 
on the staff of hospital physicians and was cared for at the hospital 
during the last weeks of his life. Owing to his frugal mode of life 
and constant attention to his profession he succeeded in accumulating 
a handsome property variously estimated at from $30,000 to $50,- 
000 and even higher. No portion of his property was donated to 
the city or to public institutions but was distributed by will to rela- 

Dr. Dunlap was taken ill about the first of July, and believing that 
the pure air on the hill-tops of his native town would restore him to 
health and strength again, he took rooms at Hotel Pelham, and re- 
mained about a week, but as there was no improvement, he was 
taken back to Northampton, and was cared for at the Dickinson 
Hospital until his death. 

In all of his long professional life at Northampton he was trusted 
and respected by a wide circle of families who had need of his pro- 
fessional services, and outside the city, in the surrounding towns, his 
services were also in demand; and in some families he had been called 
to attend the sick for nearly half a century. During his long life his 
influence was given in favor of those measures that were for the best 
interests of the people among whom he dwelt. 

The Harkness Family was one of note, and of much influence 
in the affairs of the town, as well as in the social relations of the 
section in which they lived. They were earnest, active, industrious 
people, thoroughly honest and capable, and of Scotch descent. 
They occupied large farms in the western part of the town and their 
lands extended to the dividing line between Amherst and Pelham. 

William Harkness, the first of the name in this vicinity, was the 
son of William and came from Scotland to Massachusetts in 17 10, 


mi f^ 



when but seven years old. He married Ann Gray, July 28, 1748, a 
daughter of one of the Grays who settled in Pelham, and possibly 
this was the reason of his being drawn to Pelham after the settle- 
ment of the town. 

The children of William Harkness were John, William, David, 
James, Daniel, Jonathan and Nancy. The children of these six sons 
and one daughter numbered fifty, forty-four of them bearing the sur- 
name Harkness. Nancy Harkness married Dea. Nathaniel Sampson 
who lived on the farm occupied for many years by Rev. John Jones in 
the west part of the town. Of the fifty children of the six sons and 
one daughter of William Harkness, twenty-six were daughters, and 
twenty-four were sons. John Harkness had eight children ; William, 
seven ; David, three ; James, nine ; Daniel, nine ; Jonathan, eight; and 
Nancy, six. The descendants had nearly all removed from Pelham 
before 1850. 

The descendants of these Pelham-born people are scattered in 
almost every state in the Union. Huron county, Ohio, Fulton and 
Peoria counties, Illinois, hold many of he descendants of James 
Harkness. Descendants of John are more widely scattered : some 
in California, some in Utah, others in Covington, Tioga county. Pa., 
still others in Elmira, N. Y. Of the descendants of Nancy, some 
went to Vermont, others are scattered in various parts of the country. 
Descendants of Daniel are in Peoria county, Illinois, and in Ohio. 
Descendants of William are found in Huron county, Ohio, and 
in Auburn, N. Y. Daniel's descendants are in Peoria county, Illinois. 
While those of David and Jonathan are not as definitely located. 
The following sketches of members of the Harkness family are of 
the descendants of John, and sons of John jr., born in Pelham. 

A son of William^ is living in Biloxi, La. and has a large family. 
His name is John Harkness and he removed to the South before the 
war of the Rebellion. There are a few of the name in Amherst, also 
descendants of William, but there is not one of the name in the town 
whence they sprang, in short — 

■• They are scattered far and wide, o'er Mount and Stream and Sea." 

Harvey Willson Harkness, M. D., was born May 25, 182 1, in 
the farm house still standing on the south side of the county road, a 
little west of the site of the Orient House — the farm at that time and 
for some years previous, being a part of a large tract of land owned 

422 HisroRY OK pp:lha.m, mass. 

by the Harknesses. He attended the public schools of the town 
during the years usually devoted to getting a common school educa- 
tion in the country towns at that time,supplementing it by several terms 
at Williston Seminary. He then entered upon the studv of medicine 
in the office of Drs. Barrett and Thompson, at Northampton. 

Leaving Northampton he went to the Berkshire Medical College, 
at Pittsfield. where he graduated in 1S47. Dr. Harkness then went 
west and located in St. Joseph, Missouri. 

When the news of the discovery of gold in California caused the 
breaking out of the gold fever and the consequent exodus for the 
newly discovered gold fields, in 1849, Dr. Harkness with others set 
out across the untravelled plains west of the Missouri with ox-teams 
and after a long weary journey, the party arrived in California in 
September of that year. 

He located at Sacramento and commenced the practice of his pro- 
fession among those of the eagar gold-diggers who fell sick. The 
town increased in population very fast, owing to the influx of eastern 
men in search of gold, and soon the need of schools forced the peo- 
ple to organize them and Dr. Harkness became a leader in the 
movement which resulted in establishing a permanent system of 
schools in the City of Sacramento, and he was elected the first school 

The citizens of Sacramento appreciated his services in organizing 
and superintendance at the time, and a few years since, after erecting 
a fine school building, named it the Harkness School in recognition 
of his services for the schools in the early days, and that the memory 
of his services might be kept fresh for years to come. 

Dr. Harkness was present by invitation at the formal opening of 
the Pacific railroad, May 10, 1869, when the lines were connected 
that made passage across the continemt by rail possible, and in be- 
half of the State of California, presented the golden spike used on 
that occasion in making the final connection of the rails of the two 
roads — one having been built from California east, and the other 
over the mountains and across the plains toward the west. 

Retiring from active practice of his profession in June, 1869, he 
visited Europe and the East, and was present as an invited guest at 
the opening of the Suez Canal, on the 17th of November of the 
same year. 


Having retired from the practice of medicine Dr. Harkness devoted 
his time and attention to scientific investigation and removed to San 
Francisco. Since his removal to San Francisco he has been an active 
member of the California Academy of Sciences for the past fifteen 
years, having served eight years as its President. 

In 1886. and while Dr. Harkness was President of the Academy 
of Sciences, the society erected a magnificent building for the better 
accommodation of its scientific departments, library and museum, at 
an expense of $450,000. 

Dr. Harkness has spent much time in foreign travel for pleasure 
and scientific investigation, visiting Europe on four different occas- 
ions, and spending two winters in Northern Africa. 

He was elected a life member of the British Association in 1877, 
and is honorary member of several European scientific societies. 

At present, though 76 years of age, the Doctor is serving as one of 
the Regents of the Stanford University, and is actively engaged in 
microscopical research in various lines, giving special attention to the 
Mypogaci of the Pacific coast. 

In 1895 Dr. Harkness declined further service as President of the 
Academy of Sciences and was succeeded by Prof. David Starr 

Martin Kingman Harkness, a brother of Dr. H. W. Harkness, 
was born in Pelham, in 183 i, at the farmhouse on the highway lead- 
ing from the county road at West Pelham to Belchertown, known 
for many years as the Sylvester Jewett place, and at present occupied 
by Charles P. Jewett. 

Mr. Harkness attended the public schools of the town and at 17 
years of age accompanied his brother on the ox-team journey across 
the plains to California in 1849. He his been engaged in mining 
most of the time somewhere in the mining regions of the Pacific 
slope, and for the past twenty years has been a resident of Salt Lake 
City, engaged as superintendent for a Pittsburg mining company. 

Henry Harkness, youngest brother of Dr. H. W. Harkness, was 
born at the Sylvester Jewett farm, near the western line of Pelham, 
in 1833. He spent his boyhood on the home farm until the death 
of his oldest brother Sumner, and in 1852 set out for California by 
way of the Isthmus of Panama to join his brothers already there. 
He engaged in mining most of the time until his death at Auburn, 
Cal. in March, 1895. 


Sumner J. Harkness, son of Sumner Harkness and a nephew of 
Dr. H. \y. Harkness, was born at the Jewett farm in Pelham, and 
joined his uncles on the western shore of the continent about the 
year 1873. He is a resident of Scofiekl, Utah. Has served as Judge 
of Probate and is engaged in mining and stock raising. 

William Pomeroy Daniels was born in Pelham, May 11, 1815. 
His parents, Joseph and Lucy Daniels, moved to Pelham from Wor- 
cester, Mass., where they lived on a farm located at the site of the 
present Union station. Their Pelham residence was in a little house 
near the Orient house on the south side of the road leading to the 
Methodist church. The subject of our sketch had almost no school 
privileges, a few terms at the district school being the limit of his 
opportunity. Before he was fifteen years of age he was " put out to 
work." A boy of that age to-day would count it a hardship to be 
obliged to start for his work by four o'clock in the morning, with 
lunch and dinner in his hand to be eaten frozen, with snow deep and 
no companion to share the hours and then to chop wood in the wild- 
erness until dark. Such was the experience of this boy. He often 
told of it in later days but with no consciousness of hardship beyond 
the loneliness of the work. He served an apprenticeship as carpen- 
ter and for a considerable time was connected with the factories of 
Barre, Mass., as carpenter and repairer. It was the custom in those 
days for the native born girls to be factory help and the best girls 
left farm and country villages for this purpose. Here in Barre he 
became acquainted with Miss H. Ann Stark of Hanover, N. H., who 
became his wife June 4, 1837. They began their home life on a 
farm in Lyme, N. H., where they resided, Mr. Daniels dividing his 
time between the farm and his trade as carpenter, until 1853, when 
the family consisting of four sons and one daughter, removed to Wor- 
cester, Mass. Here he became a builder and contractor, and later 
a lumber merchant owning one of the prosperous lumber yards of the 
growing city. He never sought or held public office, but was known 
as an honorable business man, interested in the welfare of the city. 
Of a puritan type of thought, he loved his Bible, the Lord's Day and 
his Church. During the later years of his life he was a large and 
constant contributor to Christian institutions. His mind early turn- 
ed with abhorance to the iniquities of slavery and he was an aboli- 
tionist long before the war appeared as arbiter of righteousness. He 


IK I lll-l,.\i 

1J(,|-, 1 I li A MAR ((IXKl'.V, 


gave to his country in the war of the RebelHon the costly offering of 
two sons, both victims of the battle field. Then he gave to the freed- 
men of the south his hearty sympathy in their efforts for Christian 
education. He was a Republican in politics in those days when 
great moral questions were maintained by its platform. Many far 
away schools, churches and christian workers shared his unostenta- 
tious charities. He delighted to give loving helpful sympathy to 
those whom the less thoughtful might overlook. Of a quiet, unde- 
monstrative temperament, of Quaker origin, his life was one of deeds 
more than words. In the summer of 1873 during a season of ill 
health he felt a great desire to spend a little time with his cousin 
Thomas Buffum of Pelham. Here within one mile of his birthplace, 
which he had left more than forty years before as a lad, he died on 
the nineteenth of September, 1873, aged fifty-eight years and five 
months. His daughter became the wife of Hon. Frank T. Blackmer, 
a prominent lawyer in Worcester. One of his sons holds an influen- 
tial position in the same city as the general superintendent of the 
Washburn, Moen Manufacturing Company. The other son is an 
alumnus of Amherst college and a well known minister of the Con- 
gregational denomination, having been recently elected to the respon- 
sible position of corresponding secretary of the American Board of 
Commissioners for Foreign Missions, with residence in I3oston. 

Ithamar Conkey was the seventh son of John Conkey and Mar- 
garet Abercrombie, and was born May 7, 1788, there were besides, 
three daughters. His father was a leading man in the town, and his 
mother was a daughter of Rev. Robert Abercrombie, the first settled 
minister at Pelham. He studied law with Noah Dickinson Mattoon 
at Amherst and opened a law office in his native town in 181 4. He 
was elected town clerk of Pelham in 1S16 and for the two following 
years. In 1818, N. D. Mattoon having removed to the west, Mr. 
Conkey succeeded to the business of the office at Amherst and 
removed to Amherst ; was chosen special commissioner for Hamp- 
shire county in 1828, and was elected county commissioner in 1830 ; 
was appointed Judge of Probate for the county by Lieut. Governor 
Armstrong, acting as Governor, in 1834 and held the office contin- 
ually until 1858 ; was a member of the Constitutional convention for 
the revision of the Constitution in 1853. Judge Conkey married 
Elizabeth Clapp Kellogg, daughter of Deacon John Kellogg of North 


Amherst, Jan. 26, 1820. Miss Kellogg lived in the family of Gen. 
Ebenezer Mattoon from the age of seven until marriage, her mother, 
Roxana Mattoon, was a sister of the General. Judge Conkey had 
four children, but all died when quite young except Ithamar F. Con- 
key, who studied law and became the leading lawyer of Amherst 
until his death Aug. S, 1875, aged 52. Judge Conkey was a leading 
member of the Second Congregational church and his residence and 
law office were in that part of the town known as East Amherst. He 
delivered the address at the Centennial celebration of the incorpora- 
tion of the town of Pelham, Jan. 16, 1843. After his services for 
twenty-eight years as Judge of Probate, he retired form active inter- 
est in legal business and directed the work upon his farm until his 
death, October 30, 1862. He was the last of the family of seven 
sons and three daughters, children of John and Margaret Conkey 
of Pelham, whose names follow : 

Israel l)or 

n April, 


•died May, 




1775 — 

'' July. 


Joshua " 


1777 — 

" April, 





" May, 


Isaac " 




Sarah " 



" June, 


Eleazer " 



» Feb.. 







Ithamar " 



" Oct., 


Mehitable " 


1791 — 


Adam Johnson was a son of Adam Johnson, one of the original 
settlers of the town who drew home lots Nos. 34 and 52, and built 
his house on No. 34, which is the farm now occupied by S. F. Arnold 
Esq., whose house can be seen upon the Pelham slope, looking 
straight east from Amherst college. It was on this farm that Adam 
Johnson the subject of this sketch was born about 1753, and he con- 
tinued to live on the home lot, No. 34, until 1800, when he disposed 
of his farm to Samuel Arnold for ^3000. He was somewhat inca- 
pacitated for the heavy farm work by lameness, which was probably 
the cause of his retiring from the labors of the farm. Mr. Johnson 
removed to the Valley and afterwards lived on the John Gray farm, 
now occupied by Levi Moulton. It is believed that he had other 
money or property than that received for hi.s farm, and having no 
family and but few near relatives, save perhaps a sister and one 
brother; when more than 70 years old and in declining health the 


matter of the disposition of his property became a question for con- 
sideration. Amherst College had but recently been incorporated 
and had erected but one building, (South College) and was in sore 
need of a chapel. The era of rich men and liberal donors to the 
struggling college had not arrived, and some of the trustees and 
friends of the college presented the great need of a chapel to Mr. 
Johnson for his consideration ; and either at first, or later, the prop- 
osition to have the proposed new chapel known as "Johnson 
Chapel," in case he should decide to bequeath his property to the 
trustees for use in erecting the much needed building, was added, as 
an inducement or appeal which they hoped would be effectual in 
influencing Mr. Johnson to make his will as they desired to have him. 
The trustees were successful. Samuel F. Dickinson, Esq., of 
Amherst, who had made frequent calls upon Mr. Johnson to present 
the needs of the college, was called upon to write the will which 
bequeathed the accumulations of a lifetime to the trustees of Amherst 
College. There was but a few thousand dollars but it was probably 
the largest bequest the college had received up to that time. 

The total inventory under the will was $6,559.12. Of this sum 
$4,000 was donated for the use of "The Collegiate Charity Institu- 
tion in Amherst." The will was executed on the 6th of February, 
1823, but the final decision that the will should stand was not made 
by the court until 1826, owing to the strong and persistent attempt 
to have the will set aside, which was made by Thomas Johnson, the 
testator's brother, on the ground that undue influence had been 
brought to bear upon the testator, who, as Thomas claimed, was in a 
weakened and unfit condition of mind to dispose of his property. In 
1827, Thomas Johnson, who was a poor man living in Greenfield, 
having been cut off by his brother Adam with a paltry legacy of $12, 
issued a pamphlet of twenty-four pages, entitled " The Last Will and 
Testament of Thomas Johnson of Greenfield, County of Franklin, in 
favour of the Trustees of Amherst College." 

In this last will Thomas bequeathed the trustees a good generous 
piece of his mind concerning the covetous tactics he believed had 
been employed in getting possession of his brother Adam's property. 
The pamphlet abounds in Scripture quotations which he believed 
applicable to the Amherst trustees, a few paragraphs of which may 
be interestino- here. 


" And although imperfection cannot keep the law perfectly, yet if we are 
volunteers in coveting and taking our neighbors' property, contrary to the 
law of God, then the transgressor must be condemned by the law : which 
brings me to consider what was the cause of dispute between the heirs of 
Adam Johnson, late of Pelham, deceased, and the trustees of Amherst Col- 
lege; to which I answer, the dispute was because Amherst trustees were 
making merchandise of the poor, the widow and the fatherless, all of which 
is in direct opposition to God's law, which brings down the judgements of 
God in this world, and eternal damnation, which the word of God makes 
manifest, as you may see. 2 Peter ii-3 : And through covetousness shall 
they with feigned words make merchandise of you, whose judgment now of 
a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. Secondly, 
Luke 20, 47 : Which devour widows houses, and for a show make long 
prayers ; the same shall receive greater damnation. Yea Mathew and Mark 
give the same account respecting damnation to hypocrites and devourers of 
widows houses. See Matt, xxiii, 14: Mark xii, 40. With respect to cove- 
tousness, inspiration saith : — There is a generation whose teeth are as 
swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth 
and the needy from among men." 
The closing paragraph follows : 

" Nevertheless, as Amherst trustees never rested until they got the princi- 
pal part of my brothers property into their possession; and as I am an old 
man, and therefore must be near the close of life, and my earthly property 
all consumed, yet would attempt to will and bequeath, as a memorandum 
this composition of Scripture truth, for the benefit of Amherst Trustees, 
with all interested in the college, with which I close this essay, in the words 
of the Apostle Paul, namely. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I 
tell you the Truth ?— Thomas Johnson." 

In the West burying ground, at the head of Mr. Johnson's grave, is 
a plain white marble slab with the following inscription: "Adam 
Johnson, Esq. Died August, 1823, aged 70 years. Erected by the 
trustees of Amherst College in testimony of their gratitude for the 
Johnson Chapel." 

James N. Smith only son of James Smith and Betsey Otis Smith 
was born in Pelham, March 25, 1826. He came of Revolutionary 
stock and was a lineal descendant in the maternal line of James Otis, 
well known as one of the most powerful and persistent opponents of 
the acts of the British Parliament for taxing the American colonies. 

The early life of young Smith was spent at Pelham where he laid 
the foundation of his education in the public schools of the town. 
Later he attended the celebrated Leicester Academy at Leicester, 
Mass., from which he was graduated and while quite a young man 



went West. Before going west he engaged in railroad building by 
contract and it was while engaged in building a railroad at Lock 
Haven, Pa. that he was first married, but his first experience in rail- 
road building was in superintending railroad work at Willimantic, 
Conn. He was engaged in railroad building at Oskalousa, la. when 
the war of the Rebellion broke out. He joined the 7th Iowa regi- 
ment as a line officer and hurried to the front, and subsequently 
commanded a cavalry regiment. After the war Colonel Smith 
became actively engaged in railroad building again in New York, 
Pennsylvania, the New England and Western states, under the firm 
name of Smith & Ripley. When Commodore Vanderbilt and the 
men associated with him determined upon the gigantic scheme for 
sinking the tracks of the New York Central and Hudson River rail- 
road from the Grand Central station toward Harlem the contract was 
awarded to Dillon, Clyde & Co., Mr. Clyde being the active manager 
of the work, but when work was only about half done Mr. Clyde died 
and Colonel Smith assumed full management of the great and diffi- 
cult contract which he completed. Other large contracts on which. 
Colonel Smith was engaged were : The extension of the Delaware, 
Lackawanna & Western road, a large section of the Northern Pacific 
railway, the Enterprise, Atlantic Coast & Indian River railroad in 
Florida, besides many branch lines in various parts of the country. 
Colonel Smith assisted in the formation of the Brooklyn, Flatbush & 
Coney Island railroad company and built the road as sole contractor,, 
and served for sometime as President of the company. Among his 
business associates were many of the leading capitahsts of the time 
in New York, including Hon. William H. Barnum, chairman of the 
Democratic National committee and Sidney Dillon, President of the 
Union Pacific railway, who was his brother-in-law. Colonel Smith 
contracted for the double tracking of the Morris & Essex railroad 
from Madison to Morristown, and from Dover, N. J. to Easton, Pa. 
He was senior partner of the firm that built the Weekawken tunnel 
for the West Shore road. 

Few men were more conspicuous or instrumental in developing the 
railway system of the country, and none more conscientious or effi- 
cient in the execution of the great contracts committed to him. He 
was a man of prodigious energy and of great executive ability, and 
noted for his uncompromising fidelity to his professional obligations.. 


Politically, Colonel Smith was a stalwart republican. As a warm 
friend and admirer of General Grant and Roscoe Conkling, he 
always clung to that wing of the party. He contributed liberally 
always for the legitimate campaign needs of the party, and took an act- 
ive part in the leadership among republicans of the twentieth ward and 
frequently represented the party at local and state conventions. He 
was a candidate for the republican congressional nomination in the 
third New York district in 1884, and again in 1886, being defeated 
the first time by Darwin R. James, and later by S. V. White, but he 
did not allow defeat to cool the ardor of his party faith and interest. 
During the pastorate of Rev. H. W. Ijeecher at Plymouth church. 
Colonel Smith was a prominent member of the church and a warm 
friend of the people. 

His city residence was 265 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn. His sum- 
mer home was a fine farm well stocked with the best Holstein and 
Alderney cattle, a few miles out of Litchfield Conn., and it was to his 
farm that he retired when his health failed him and he had failed 
to receive permanent benefit from a visit to Europe and treatment 
at Carlsbad. 

Colonel Smith died at Litchfield July 31, 1888. He was married 
three times. 

Nathaniel Gray was the son of John Gray and Betsey Rankin 
Gray, and was born at Pelham July 20, 1808. He attended the pub- 
lic schools of the town and learned the trade of stone cutter as did 
many other young men of the town, and worked at it for some years 
before his marriage. He was married at Brattleboro Vt., Dec. 29, 
1832, to Miss Emeline A. Hubbard, daughter of Giles Hubbard of 
Sunderland. In 1833 Mr. Gray and wife removed to the city of 
New York, where he continued working at his trade for six years, 
and then became a local missionary in the employ of the City Tract 
Society at a salary of $700 a year. He was a member of the West 
Presbyterian church of that city and was elected ruling elder in 1840. 
He was engaged in the missionary work for twelve years, and in 1850 
removed to San Francisco, via the Isthmus of Panama, the journey 
taking the time from February 12 until June 12 on account of delays 
and sickness. 

In 1852 Mr. Gray was elected coroner for the county of San Fran- 
cisco, and in 1863 was elected a member of the California legislature 
on the independent republican ticket. 



Much of his time was devoted to the interest of various charitable 
institutions of the city and state and he served in them as follows ; 
president of Old Peoples Home, president of San Francisco Benevo- 
lent Society, trustee of California Bible Society, director of San Fran- 
cisco Theological Seminary, director of California Prison Commis- 
sion, and trustee of the Young Men's Christian Association. Mr. 
Gray was successful in business and built a fine residence at 758 
Tenth Street, Oakland, where the golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. 
Gray was celebrated on Dec. 29, 1882, in the presence two hundred 
invited guests, among them was his brother William D. Gray and 
wife, and Mrs. Harriett Steuben. The latter was a witness of the mar- 
riage at Brattleboro fifty years before, and Mr. W. D. Gray was a 
witness of the marriage of William W. Oliver and Miss Lorania Gray, 
the later was a sister of Nathaniel and William, at Pelham, Oct. 4, 
1826, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver also being present and celebrated the fifty- 
six anniversary of their marriage. 

The children of John Gray, father of Nathaniel and Lorania inclu- 
ded also the following ; Mary Gray, Ira Gray, Sarah H. Gray, (after- 
wards Sarah H. Thompson,) William D. Gray, Hinckley R. Gray, and 
Horace Gray. All of these left Pelham early in life except Horace 
and Mrs. Sarah H, Thompson, and the descendants of those who went 
out from their native town are scattered in the states of New 
York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, and 

The children of Nathaniel Gray are as follows ; Giles H. Gray, a 
prominent lawyer of San Francisco, Henry M. Gray, Edwin P. Gray, 
George D. Gray and Emma A. Gray, now Mrs. Cyrus S. Wright of 
Oakland. The birth place of Nathaniel Gray was the farm in that 
part of the town known as ''The Valley" on which is situated the 
quarry from which so many building stones are quarried, and known 
for the last twenty years or more as the Joseph G. Ward place. John 
Gray the father of Nathaniel lived there and was known as "Cooper " 
John Gray to distinguish him from another John Gray, son of Dea. 
Ebenezer Gray, who lived on the farm near by now owned by Levi 
Moulton, who was known as " Tanner " John Gray. " Cooper" John 
was a farmer and made good barrels, "Tanner" John was a practical 
tanner and worked at the business in connection with the work of the 
farm. Both were useful men in the community, " Cooper" John Gray 


and " Tanner " John Gray were from different races of Grays and were 
not related to each other by blood. 

Nathaniel Gray's business in San Francisco was that of under- 
taker; beginning July i, 1850, and continuing until his death 
April 24, 1889, and during that time he attended to thirty thousand 
five hundred and forty-nine burials. He" was liberal in his gifts to 
educational and other benevolent institutions. He gave $5000 to the 
San Francisco Theological Seminary towards the endowment of a 
professorship, and other property now valued at $30,000 ; and to 
educate the young women of the state he gave Mills Seminary, in 
Alameda county, $10,000, and also a sum sufficient to establish a 
scholarship so that at least one young woman could obtain free 
tuition ; he also gave a site for the hospital for children and training 
school for nurses, but the many smaller gifts would aggregate a much 
larger sum. He was always laboring for the relief of the needy and 
the distressed. The board of trustees of the Old Peoples Home of 
San Francisco, of which Mr. Gray was president, in the resolutions 
at the time of his death, gave expressions to the following : " An 
able factor in every Charitable cause in which he took part. He pos- 
sessed a robust constitution, and the mind of a pioneer ot the city of 
his residence, he possessed business qualifications which made him the 
peer of the business men of his day, both in worldly accomplishments 
and success. At the same time he posesssed a religious fervor, an 
eminently pious character, and a most benevolent and charitable dis- 
position to the poor, the aged, the sick, and the oppressed, which 
commanded from him respect alike in business circles and is Christ- 
ian brotherhood." There were Grays among the original settlers of 
Pelham, and there have been families of that name in town until 
recent years, but at present not a person of that name resides in town. 
In 1799 there were fourteen voters bearing that surname, as follows : 
Jacob Gray, Mathew Gray, Ebenezer Gray, John Gray, Jonathan 
Gray, Elliot Gray, Adam C. Gray, Justin Gray, Daniel Gray, John 
Gray, Thomas Gray, Patrick Gray, Moses Gray 2d, and Joel Gray. 

Israel H, Taylor. M. D., was born in Pelham 181 1. He was a 
son of John Taylor and Martha Thompson Taylor. The family con- 
sisting of five sons and two daughters, besides the subject of this 
sketch there were Alfred, John, Stewart and James. The daughters 
were Lucy, afterwards Mrs. Lucy Houston, and Martha, afterwards 
Mrs. Colton of Springfield. 

RI-:\-. ALniX (iROUT. 



Israel laid the foundation of his education in the common schools 
of the town ; began the study of medicine with Dr. Daniel Thompson 
of Northampton, who was at that time associated with Dr. Barrett. 
He supplemented his study with Drs. Thompson and Barrett by 
attendance at the Pittsfield Medical School, and later by attendance 
upon medical lectures in New York city. He commenced the prac- 
tice of medicine in Pelham in 1833. 

In 1842 he married Miss Lavinia C. Crossett of Brescott, and 
brought his wife to Pelham. Dr. Taylor continued in the practice of 
his profession in Pelham until 1848, when he removed to Amherst 
and soon increased his business very much, at the same time con- 
tinued to answer calls from the many friends he had left in his native 
town. He continued in active service for forty years after his 
removal to Amherst, making a total of fifty-five years of active ser- 
vice as a physician. He was for several years the leading physician 
in the town, and very highly respected among a large number of the 
citizens of the town in whose families he had ministered in the many 
years of his residence among them. His kindly cheerful manner, 
while making professional calls, endeared him to many families who 
looked upon him as a kind friend as well as family physician. For 
two years or more before his death he did little in the line of his pro- 
fession, and he died Oct. 15, 1890. 

Rev. Aldin Grout was a son of Joel and Aseneth Grout ; he was 
born at Pelham, Mass., Sept. 2, 1803 ; graduated at Amherst College 
1831, and Andover Seminary, 1834; married Miss Hannah Davis, 
Nov. 17, 1834 (who died in 1836); ordained at Holden, Mass., 1834. 
He sailed from Boston Dec. 3, 1834, on the bark Burlington with 
five other missionaries and their wives, sent out by the American 
Board to establish a mission in South Africa, or rather two missions? 
but both among the Zulus. One was to be in the interior, and the 
other on the coast, to be called the Maritime Mission. Rev. David 
Lindley, Rev. H. I. Venable, and Dr. Alexander E. Wilson, with 
their wives, were to form the interior mission, while Rev. Aldin Grout, 
Rev. George Champion, and Dr. Newton Adams, with their wives, 
were designated to Natal, for the Maritime Mission. Landing 
together at Cape Town, Feb. 5, 1835, the first company went to the 
country of Umzilikaze (Moselekatse) who was the father of Loben- 
gula, the Matabele king. But this mission secured no foothold 


among the Matabele. The other party, consisting of Messrs. 
Grout, Champion, and Adams, reached Port Natal (Durban) Dec. 20, 
1S35, and after visiting the Zulu chief Dingaan received permission 
to remain as missionaries among his people. Two years later the 
mission was broken up and Messrs. Grout and Champion came to 
the United States in 1S38. But with undaunted courage Mr. Grout 
returned to Natal in 1840, remaining for thirty years in the Zulu 
Mission, till, in 1870, at the age of sixty-seven, he retired from the 
work. Of the twelve persons who thus commenced work among the 
Zulus only one is now living, Mrs. Venable, residing in Kansas, at 
the age of eighty-one. Of the men, the last to be called from earth 
was Rev. Aldin Grout, who died at Springfield, Mass., Feb. 12, 1894 
having resided there since he returned to the United States in 1870. 

In the beautiful cemetery at Springfield. Mass., there may now be 
seen a plain marble shaft, with an appropriate inscription, over the 
grave of Rev. Aldin Grout. A most interesting fact connected with 
this monument is that it was erected by the gifts of Zulus in South 
Africa with whom Mr. Grout lived and labored for thirty-six years. 
It is a custom among the Zulus, when a friend leaves them not to 
return, to present him with what is called "grave money," to be used 
in procuring a suitable burial. When Mr. and Mrs. Grout returned 
from Natal in 1870 such a gift was made him by the Zulus of 
Umvoti. This sum was sufficient to meet the funeral expenses of 
Mr. Grout and also to erect this comely monument at Springfield. 

The family of Joel and Aseneth Grout consisted of nine children : 
Martin born May 30, 1792 ; settled at Grout's Corner, now Millers Falls. 
Rufus born March 13, 1794 ; married Clarissa Hall. 

Aseneth born ; married Whipple Cook. 

Orpha born ; married Mr. Moon of Westfield. 

Orra born Oct. 17, 1800: married Malinda Randall. 

Aldin born Sept. 2, 1S03 ; married ist, Miss Hannah Davis; 2d. Miss Char- 
lotte Bailey. 
Austin born Nov. 26, 1S05 ; married Susan Hall. 
Josiah W. born July 24. 1809 ; married Harriett Peck. 
Annis born March 4, 1813; married Samuel Robbins. 

Albert Brown Robinson, M. D., is the son of Abial Robinson 
and Mary Ann Packard Robinson and was born in Pelham, Mass., 
April 12, 1835. At the age of twelve years his parents moved to 
Ware and he entered the high school there, but pursued his acade- 
mic studies at Monson, Mass., and was graduated at the University 


of Buffalo, N. Y., medical department, in the year 1857. He prac- 
ticed in Amherst, Mass., a few months and then settled in Holden, 
Mass., where he married in 1859 the daughter of the late Cyrus 
Chenery of New York. Her great-grandfather was Dr. Isaac 
Chenery, who was a surgeon in the Revolutionary war, and whose 
great-grandfather was Major Logan of revolutionary fame. In 
August, 1862, he was commissioned assistant surgeon of the loth 
Regiment Mass. Volunteers (Col. Briggs) and in May following he 
was commissioned full surgeon of the same regiment. After the 
expiration of the three years' term of the regiment's enlistment, June 
1864, he, with the regiment, was mustered out of the United States 
service after being in every battle of the army of the Potomac, from 
Gen. McClellan on the Peninsula to Gen. Grant at Petersburg, Va. 
The next month he was commissioned surgeon of the 42 nd Regi- 
ment to serve 100 days at the defences of Washington, D. C, and 
was mustered out the following November. In April 1865 he set- 
tled in Boston where he has been in the active practice of his profes- 
sion since. In the autumn of 1865 he was appointed professor of 
surgery in the New England Female Medical College of Boston. 
In 1858 he was an admitted member of the Mass. Medical society 
and in 1865 a member of the Norfolk District Medical society. In 
1866 a comrade and surgeon of Post 26, Grand Army of the Repub- 
lic. In 1867, was made a mason of Washington Lodge F. & A. M. 
During his residence in Boston he has been medical examiner for 
various insurance companies and beneficiary associations, and is at 
present a member of many literary and secret societies. 

William Smith Otis, the inventor of the steam shovel, or the Amer- 
ican steam excavator (as styled in the patent), was the son of Isaac 
Otis and Tryphina Smith Otis, and was born in Pelham Mass., Sep- 
tember 20, 18 13. He came of good old Revolutionary stock; both of 
his grandfathers having been soldiers in our Revolutionary army ; 
his maternal grandfather having resided and died in Pelham. 

At the time of his invention he was residing in Philadelphia, Pa., 
engaged in railroad construction, and he patented it about 1836. 
The first machines were built by Eastwick & Harrison (the firm that 
under the style of Harrison, Wynans & Eastwick, went to Russia, 
where they constructed all of the locomotives and rolling stock for 
the St. Petersburg & Moscow R. R., a road over four hundred miles 



long, and where they accumulated large fortunes). The Russian 
government bought two of the excavators (built by E. & H. in Phila- 
delphia), which were used in the construction of this road. 

mm mmm Bmm iMMMm. 

The first steam excavator was used by Mr. Otis on a contract on 
the B. & O. R. R. somewhere in Maryland, and the second near 
Springfield, Mass., on the Boston & Albany R. R. in 1837, -'38, -'39. 
A machine was sent with an agent to England about this time, but 
the English contractors refused to use it, though since the expiration 
of the patent they have constructed and used large numbers, about 
twenty having been employed on the excavations of the Liverpool & 
Manchester canal. One was sold to the Peruvian government, which 
they used on one of their Guano islands, in excavating and loading 
into cars the fertilizer deposited by the birds. The French and 
Germans have also built and used many of them, in fact, they are 
used the world over where ever any heavy excavations are to be made. 

Mr. Otis was the first person to hang a shovel on a revolving 
crane, and was the progenitor of a large class of dredges used in 
excavating hard material. 

At the time of his invention, engines and boilers were large and 
clumsy, entirely unsuited for the excavator, and Mr. Otis designed an 
engine and boiler of the style in use at this day ; the only improve- 
ment made since his death in steam excavators has been in enlarging 
and strengthening them. The most of our prominent railroads own 


one or more of them, using them in their gravel pits, and they are 
employed on some of the Lake Superior iron mines in digging the ore. 

William S. Otis, while engaged in constructing a portion of the 
Boston & Providence R. R. near Canton, Mass., married on June 23, 
1835, Miss Elizabeth Everett, daughter of Leonard Everett, a mer- 
chant of that place. They had two daughters and one son, the latter 
died in infancy, and one of the daughters at an early age ; the oldest, 
Helen E., married John D. Dunbar, of Canton, Mass., April 4, 1855. 
They are both deceased, leaving several sons, one of whom is an 
employee of the Pennsylvania R. R. at Altoona, Pa., and the others 
are doing well. Mr. Otis died in Westfield, Mass, November 13, 
1839, ^ged 26 years, one month, and 23 days. 

Isaac Otis was the fourth of that name, and the seventh generation 
in descent from the first settler who came from England in 1635. 

William Smith Otis was the oldest of eleven children. His mother 
being the daughter of Capt. Oliver Smith of Pelham, but she was 
born in Walpole. 

John Otis, the first of that name in this country, settled near Otis 
Hill in Hingham Mass., and was the son of Richard Otis of County 
Somerset, England. John Otis, first, had a son John second, who 
had four sons, viz : John, Stephen, Joseph, and Job. From John 
many noted men have descended, among them James Otis the "patriot 
of the Revolution," and Harrison Gray Otis, first Mayor of Boston, 
and a United States Senator. 

Capt. Isaac Abercrombie, youngest son of Rev. Robert Aber- 
crombie, was born in Pelham, Mass., Sept. 30, 1759. When a lad he 
went to Brookline and lived with Mr. William Hyslop, a wealthy 
Englishman and friend of Rev. Robert. In his early manhood he 
returned to Pelham. He married Martha McCulloch, daughter of 
Robert and Sarah (Cowan) McCulloch, June 26, 1790. They lived 
in the old parsonage for many years, and at the parsonage their nine 
children were born. He was a man of fine presence, erect and 
stately in figure. He filled many ofiices of honor and trust in the 
town and county before his removal from town. He represented 
the town in the General Court in 1799, 1800. 1801, 1S02. 1804, 1806, 
1809 and 1819 ; was on the board of selectmen often and was com- 
missioned a Justice of the Peace for Hampshire and Hampden coun- 
ties, and a captain in the militia. He removed from his native town 


to New Salem first, and then to Greenfield and Deerfield where he 
died Dec. 4, 1847. 

Isaac Abercrombie was a much respected and influential citizen, 
and noted for his strength of mind. His service in the Revolution 
was while living at Brookline, consequently his name does not 
appear among the list from Pelham. David, Samuel. John and 
James, sons of Rev. Robert, also served in the Revolutionary war. 
David, the eldest son, was in the battles of Bunker Hill, Stillwater, 
Saratoga and Ticonderoga ; was taken prisoner by the British, sent 
to England and never returned. It is claimed that few, if any, able- 
bodied men remained in Pelham during the war — the old men, and 
the women doing what work was done on the farms. 

Otis Abercrombie, M. D., son of Capt. Isaac Abercrombie, was 
born in Pelham, June 25, 1802. He married Dorothy Lovina, 
daughter of Major Daniel and Mary (Sawyer) Putnam of Lunen- 
burg, Mass., June 16, 1S35. He was graduated at Williams College 
in 1823 and began the study of medicine at the Medical School in 
Riclimond, Va., and finished his studies at New Haven, Conn., 
receiving his degree in 1827. Later in that year he was licensed to 
practice medicine by the Mass. Medical Society and located in Ash- 
burnham, Mass. He removed to Fitchburg in 18